How elites are blind about immigration

I had been thinking about posting about immigration recently, because some facts on the ground have caused me to move away from a pure laissez-faire position on it. A few minutes ago I wrote a long comment on G+ that I realized says a lot of what I wanted to. This is a slightly revised and expanded version of that comment.

I am asked, by another member of the educated white elite, why we shouldn’t simply end border enforcement entirely rather than buid a wall or tolerate Joe Arpaio’s squalid detention camps.

Both here and in Europe there’s been a significant spike in communicable diseases that can be traced back to low immunization rates in what Trump may or may not have called “shithole” countries.

Crime is a real issue. Legal immigrants have a slightly higher criminal propensity than the native born (the difference is small enough that its significance is disputed) but illegals’ propensity is much higher, to the point that 22% of all federal incarcerees are illegals (that’s 92% of all jailed immigrants).

But the elephant in the room is the impact of illegal immigration on social trust.

Diversity erodes social trust, trust being that extremely valuable form of social capital that enables people to make handshake deals, leave their doors unlocked, and trust institutions to treat them fairly. Sociologist Robert Putnam was so shocked to discover this that he sat on his results for seven years before publishing. In diverse communities trust drops not only between ethnolinguistic groups but within them. It’s insidious and very harmful – low-trust societies are bad, bad places to live.

The U.S. has a proud tradition of assimilating legal immigrants into a high-trust society, but it succeeds in this by making them non-diverse – teaching them to assimilate folk values and blend in. Putnam’s work suggests strongly that without the ability to rate-limit immigration to be within some as yet undetermined maximum, the harm from erosion of trust would exceed the benefits of immigration.

We are probably above the optimal legal immigration rate – the highest compatible with avoiding net decrease in social trust over time – already (later in this post it should become obvious why I believe this). There is little doubt that we would greatly exceed it without immigration controls.

Anyway, even if ending border enforcement were a good idea (and I conclude that it is not, despite my libertarian reflexes) it’s a political nonstarter in the U.S. Trump got elected by appealing to sentiment against illegals, and beneath that is a phenomenon one might call Putnam backlash; everywhere outside a few blue-state enclaves, Americans sense the erosion of social trust and have connected it to illegal immigration.

If you run around saying “We should end border enforcement”, enough people to form a blocking coalition are going to hear that as “He wants the U.S. to sit on its hands as erosion of social trust degrades it into a shithole.” Of course most of them don’t have this intellectually analyzed – it’s a more a gut feeling. But no less powerful for that, especially since the problem is real.

Do you want more Trump? Because that is how you get more Trump – or possibly someone worse. I don’t think there is actually a large cohort of Americans willing to sign on to full-throated 19th-century-style nativism yet, and I’m glad of that. But that’s where the next turn of the screw takes us.

We can only save the positive benefits of immigration by controlling it. And by growing some freaking humility about our biases. It’s easy for elite whites like you and me to see only the upside of immigration (cool restaurants, interesting music, exotically pretty girls, lower price levels due to labor cost push on the things we buy, getting to feel virtuous about our inclusivity); immigration seldom has any obvious downside for us unless we roll snake-eyes and get killed by MS-13 or something.

We tend to miss the fact that if you’re a native-born unskilled laborer or minority or legal immigrant the cost-benefit ratio looks very different and not favorable at all. Loose labor markets are good to us, but sure as hell not to our poorer compatriots. A little more compassion and a little less class-blindness on our part would be an improvement.

(My comment ended here. Had I continued addressing my interlocutor directly I would have added the following…)

One of the major forces currently poisoning our politics is a breakdown in trust between people like you and me – the cognitive elites – and the rest of America. Deplorables. Flyover country. Brexit, and Trump’s election, slapped me upside the head. I’ve been forced to confront some uncomfortable truths.

They think we’ve betrayed and abandoned them for a mess of virtue signaling and glib ideologizing. On the left: identity politics, PC, and open borders justified on multiculturalist grounds. On the right: free trade and open borders justified on laissez-faire principle.

They have a point. I’m seeing that now.

I mean, I might still think free trade is a good idea and have lots of arguments for it. But my arguments don’t mean fuck-all to a Rust-Belt steelworker who’s watched his livelihood get exported and the community around him wither and has nothing left but a cheap high on opioids. Nor to an unskilled black or legal-immigrant urbanite who can’t get a job because the restaurants can hire illegals for cheaper.

We owe these people more than we have given them. What we owe can’t mainly be paid in money. It’s compassion; a fair hearing. Respect. Not dismissing them as trash or troglodytes or racists because they don’t love the brave new globalized world that gives us options but – too often – closes off theirs.

I don’t have easy solutions to these problems. But is it too much to ask that people like you and me should stop being arrogant assholes about them?

UPDATE: I’m sure I’ll be asked how I reconcile border controls with my libertarian principles. It’s a fair question – before Putnam I wouldn’t have tried, or even wanted to. Now I think in these terms: regardless of how you feel about government, high trust is a valuable kind of property for a society to have, and an ethically correct thing for it to defend.

380 thoughts on “How elites are blind about immigration

  1. It isn’t blindness as such, it is a conscious effort to cement in a progressive/Dem voter majority, whatever the social costs. At least in the US. Europe’s case is more complex. (Why would Merkel think they would vote for her theoretically center-right party? I think she is just following the global trend mostly.)

    The reason for the disrespect the “cognitive elite” (I am not at all convinced most of them deserve that title) shows to the “deplorables” is IMHO status masturbation. When people feel they are personally not succesful and happy, they try to feel better about themselves by crapping on someone else whom they consider even lower status, to feel comparatively better.

    And the “cognitive elite” is not doing well. Academia is not doing well, there is an overproduction of PhDs and they are overworked, underpaid and desperately hoping for tenure one day. The media is not doing well, people are not buying newspapers anymore and they can monetize clicky ads only so much. If you are a journalist expecting about half you going to lose their job in less than a decade, you feel desperate. College students with their $150K medieval basket-weaving degrees are not doing well.

    So just like the least succesful, lowest status whites may think “well at least I am not black”, the least succesful, lowest status intellectuals think “well at least I am not a hateful ignorant redneck”. This is what fuels this craziness.

    There is another reason for “cognitive elites” to feel insecure. Basically this “bioleninism” thing Spandrell wrote about. Basically, elites are selected for loyalty. To ensure loyalty, people who would not do well on a free market are selected. You could say they carry a lot of inferiority complex types of issues from childhood. “But at least I am better than the fascists…”

    The third aspect is that one way out of the rather bad career prospects the “cognitive elite” have now is to become a “diversity hire” in places they would otherwise cannot get in. Like, you cannot code well but still can become some kind of a community outreach officer at Google. But justify diversity hires and generate more such jobs, white males need to be demonized.

    So try to add it together. You are a journalist who is not at all sure there will be enough paying journalist jobs in the near future. You could try to be super reliable but in an increasingly tribal and screaming culture people are less likely to pay attention to that. So what do you do, join the screaming and scream more intensely than anyone else. Cement in your political loyalties. Maybe you get a political and/or diversity hire job somewhere.

    Ultimately it looks like time preference schedules collapsing. I think todays 30 year olds are no longer planning how their lives will be at 60. Everybody feels something bad and unexpected will happen anyhow, something you cannot be prepared for. Unpredictable circumstances generate high time preference behavior where only the here and now matters. Hence impulsivity.

    • >It isn’t blindness as such

      Oh, I don’t doubt that the Gramscians are up to something evil They always are.

      No, I’m in part saying that I have been somewhat class-blind about this issue and am trying to broaden my perspective.

      • As a German I can tell you this is no complex ploy to vote an AFD (Anti-Immigartion Party) dictator in to a seat of power!

        In Europe, it is the same feeling and dont mistake the CDU (Merkels party) to be the Republicans. They are much closer to California Democrats than to any kind of Republican. In Italy the erosion is big and Greece is sweating under the load, Hungary has closed its borders and given the middle finger to Merkel. And if elections where held today than the immigrant issue and our own Dieselgate would result in a major loss for the “ruling” coalition.

    • I’ll push back a little on this:

      [I]t is a conscious effort to cement in a progressive/Dem voter majority, whatever the social costs.

      That is possible in the case of Democratic elites, I think. Maybe even likely, but I can’t say that I think enough like them to have all of their incentives internalized. But in the case of rank and file middle class who post to social media and vote Democrat, I think this is more accurately described as them wanting that majority because they genuinely see it as the path to a better life for everyone, elite, poor, immigrant, or Nth-gen American.

      Especially labor. I think they see labor as the #1 driver of wealth creation; therefore, whatever aids labor, aids everyone. And they trust labor to do that, in the social trust sense. This trust may very well be faith-deep. And it is borne out of their own experience. I’m not talking about gentry liberals, again; I’m talking about liberals and progressives that are themselves working class, but with aspirations to intellectual status – they got some college, they like to read, but they still work retail, or they work in creative industries like writing, theater, journalism, or other arts. I don’t think of these as gentry liberals. They don’t have stock portfolios. They don’t have lecture tours (although they may attend them). I don’t have books on the bestseller list (although they certainly buy them).

      I think this distinction is important, because I commonly see them being told they’re just in it for the votes, or for the power, which is naturally offensive to them, since in their view, they just want enough to get by. Which, incidentally, is how a lot of libertarians see themselves.

      • > being told they’re just in it … for the power, which is naturally offensive to them,

        You’d be surprised. A lot of leftist social theorizing is extremely clear that “power relations” among social groups are ALL that matters in that sort of worldview, with everything else about society being reduced to an epiphenomenon, to be entirely explained in terms of power. It’s a bizarre idea, of course. It’s like they looked hard at the old, strawman idea of _Homo economicus_ – which, while obviously flawed, is nonetheless a reflection of the very genuine human tendency to “truck, barter and trade” – decided that they didn’t like it for some reason, and happily “fixed” it by falling back to chimp-level dominance hierarchies and inter-group warfare instead.

        • A lot of leftist social theorizing is extremely clear that “power relations” among social groups are ALL that matters in that sort of worldview, with everything else about society being reduced to an epiphenomenon, to be entirely explained in terms of power.

          Even when that’s true, it’s still compatible with their being offended when you tell them they’re only in it for more power. They invariably fail to count themselves as one of said social groups. They’re aware of it, and therefore they’re above it, and therefore you’re asserting that they aren’t. They’re immune to every form of human weakness and argument fallacy – bigotry, hypocrisy, even emotional irrationality. Any flaw you observe is merely a product of your own inability to understand.

          Were I to get really cynical about it: if you want a vision of the future, imagine a pious liberal, shaming an un-woke conservative, forever.

    • > And the “cognitive elite” is not doing well.

      The “cognitive elite” in developed countries are doing fantastically well, compared to their own ancestors, and to just about everyone else on the planet. (Yes, even the starving artists, academics and journalists – at least those among them that have a truly intellectual attitude. All they have to do is find a sustainable, reasonably worthwhile niche – and while this is sometimes challenging, it is NOT inordinately difficult.) At the end of the day, the ‘feeling’ you’re describing is just spiteful envy – not exactly something to be encouraged if you care about social trust!

    • “At least in the US. Europe’s case is more complex. (Why would Merkel think they would vote for her theoretically center-right party? I think she is just following the global trend mostly.) ”

      It might come as a surprise, but voting will be the last thing Merkel had in mind when she wanted to give refugees a safe place. The demographics are hardly an issue in Europe politics. Most countries have multi party systems which can adapt to changing demographics easily.

      I think you will just have to accept the unthinkable: There are people who care about the plight of foreigners.

      • It might come as a surprise, but voting will be the last thing Merkel had in mind when she wanted to give refugees a safe place. The demographics are hardly an issue in Europe politics.

        I agree 100% with the first quoted sentence: migrants are not a way to “bus in voters” for the elected European officials to remain in power, and suggestions to the contrary are ridiculous. However, I don’t agree with the second — if only because age, not nationality, is the demographic category which should be of concern for Europe. The fertility rate is approximately 1.5 births per woman in Europe, and has been below the replacement rate of 2 since the mid-70s. And that potential loss of labor and tax base? Well, that is something any politician worth their salt ought to be immensely worried about. France seems to be a weak exception here, having already bottomed out and recovered to right at the replacement rate, but the rest of Europe is facing the aging out of their labor force. Or rather: would face, if they weren’t trucking in migrants to compensate.

      • I think you will just have to accept the unthinkable: There are people who care about the plight of foreigners.

        And don’t give half a shit about the plight of their own countrymen. How many German women have had an up-close-and-personal experience of the benefits of diversity against their will? Do you even care? How many young, white British girls have been raped and coerced into prostitution by Muslims? Do you care?

        Stop pretending you’re so damned virtuous for not giving a shit about people who look like you.

        • “How many German women have had an up-close-and-personal experience of the benefits of diversity against their will? Do you even care?”

          First, Europeans do care about such things, just as Americans claim to do. (although I remember American media caring less for drunk girls being raped by athletes)

          After that horrific event in Cologne, security was tightened and further attempts have been blocked. Most of the original perpetrators were found not to be refugees from war torn countries.

          The statistics show that any increase in sexual violence in Germany is pretty low. And, as usual, the perpetrators and victims often know each other, even when the perpetrators are refugees. There have been some exaggerated reports about new statistics. But these all ignored the fact that the definition of “sexual offense” has been broadened considerable recently. Care must be taken when comparing global statistics from before and after the change. When looking at the comparable offenses, there are only small changes.

          In short, if you want to accuse the Europeans of stupidity, show you actually know what you are talking about, at least a little.

      • “I think you will just have to accept the unthinkable: There are people who care about the plight of foreigners.”

        Yes and no. It was exactly like that when the first refugees came. People in Munich and other cities came and helped in the sincere believe that those refugees were like them But then 1-2 years later this spirit is gone, because after the honeymoon many realized they were not and the tendency to accept our culture is relatively low. This is of course in stark contrast to actual immigrants that came for a better life and prepared to do 5 years on probation and learned the language to study or work here. These people are for all intents and purposes German (fully integrated), some even more so than I am.

      • > There are people who care about the plight of foreigners.

        Do you want to compare the per-capita charitable donations to “foreigners” between Americans and Europeans?

        Do you *really* want to embarrass yourself that way?

    • A lot of people overlook the fact that many of the self-styled ‘cognitive elite’, who significantly overlap with SJWs, are not very economically secure. I noted some time ago how few of them gave their occupation as anything other than ‘writer (in other words, they want to be paid to do nothing useful but spend their days being Mrs Grundys). They’re not actually poor – they all seem to have middle or upper middle class family to fall back on – but they like to think they are poor.

  2. Er.. Where did you get the numbers about crime propensity of legal immigrants? All research I’ve seen claims that it’s much lower among legal immigrants than among natives.

    • >Er.. Where did you get the numbers about crime propensity of legal immigrants?

      My immediate source was the Washington Times; I’ve seen it other places too. Google should turn it up.

      Anyway, I could be misled about that and the rest of the argument would still hold. It’s the tremendously high criminal propensity of immigrants that matters.

      • I think you dropped a ‘illegal’ in your last sentence. (normally I wouldn’t think it worth pointing that out since it can be understood from context but since some people gonna want to misunderstand you here…)

          • ” It’s the tremendously high criminal propensity of immigrants that matters. ” != ” It’s the tremendously high criminal propensity of illegal immigrants that matters. “

          • > It’s the tremendously high criminal propensity of [] immigrants that matters.
            I marked the space he thinks needs to be filled with the word “illegal”.

      • The WAPO article I found (https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/fact-checker/wp/2018/01/18/trumps-claim-that-immigrants-bring-tremendous-crime-is-still-wrong/?utm_term=.795aef89cea0 ) points out that while illegal aliens are overrepresented (the 20%ish number) federally, they’re _under_ represented (2-6%) at the state prison level. And that overall, the data is inconsistent or lacking.

        I’m not sure how this reversal affects your social-trust hypothesis, other than a potentially slight bolster that of _course_ illegals are over represented federally where social trust is at a minimum (the whole country is of course more diverse than a single state would be).

        • Searching this page for “federal” found a couple posts correcting this Snopes-worthy persistent meme that immigrants are 22% of all prisoners rather than just federal prisoners.

          So foreigners spread disease, crime, and distrust… That’s quite a familiar narrative, designed to trigger conservatives’ sensitivity to the Sanctity/purity moral foundation (refer to Haidt’s work). Most libertarians would first blame anti-vaxxers, drug prohibition, and entitlements. It’s instructive to see how a mechanism breaks under various stresses–its failure modes–including a libertarian mind.

          • >So foreigners spread disease, crime, and distrust… That’s quite a familiar narrative, designed to trigger conservatives’ sensitivity to the Sanctity/purity moral foundation (refer to Haidt’s work).

            That is an interesting thesis. But I’m not a conservative – I fit a different one Haidt’s categories, I’m spacing the label just now – and yet the erosion of social trust concerns me a lot.

            I think it resonates for me because unlike most Americans I’ve seen lower-trust societies up close and personal. They’re ugly, and they’re ugly in ways people who have spent their entire lives in high-trust environments have difficulty wrapping their brains around. Military guys who’ve spent enough time in the sandbox clue in, though.

            • Haidt commits to only two clusters–conservatives and progressives–in the 6-dimensional moral-foundations space, but suggests that libertarians probably form a third. He has a couple of great presentations at Cato and Reason, the latter titled, “It’s hard to gross out a libertarian”. You can find them in YouTube. I tried to add a diagram including libertarians to the Wikipedia article about Moral Foundations Theory, but of course it was eventually removed.

              Totally agree about low-trust societies sucking. I’ve lived most of my adult life in former Eastern Bloc countries (I think you and I last exchanged mail when I was out on Sakhalin), and I often say that it was the lack of interpersonal trust that brought down the USSR. However, trust and diversity are not incompatible in a free society–problems arise when various interest groups can use the government as a weapon to control and exploit others. That leads to the defensive clustering phenomenon lamented in The Big Sort.

              This seems to be a big topic now among libertarians: given that we are not likely to live in a libertarian society for the foreseeable future, what compromises will we make to our ideology in the interests of self-defense? For example, a Christian libertarian might not approve of same-sex marriage but support the right, unless he could be forced to bake cakes for same-sex weddings.

              • However, trust and diversity are not incompatible in a free society

                Depending on what you mean by diversity, yes they are.

                If you just mean the color of a man’s skin, or what his preferred breakfast is, well, no one worth knowing gives a f*k about that.

                But different cultures? Hell, it’s hard enough to get Okies and New Englanders to trust each other and they’ve grown up (well used to) on the same TV shows and watched the same evening news.

                When you through money and power into the mix you’re really going to see the knives come out. Now it’s about *tribe* and that’s some nasty stuff.

                problems arise when various interest groups can use the government as a weapon to control and exploit others.

                Problems arise when one tribe perceives, rightly or not, that another group is getting preference over their tribe. It doesn’t have to be exploitative.

            • You don’t really need to travel to see what low-trust looks like, you just need to have immigrant relatives from such a low trust country. In my case, it’s now deceased grandparents (were here for decades) and recent immigrant cousins from the former Yugoslavia. Other than neighbors (of decades and also of the same ethnic background) and relatives, no one was ever invited into the grandparents’ house. “You don’t want them to know what you have” was the explanation. The cousins, even though of a much higher social level (college level professionals as opposed to laborers like grandfather) show a disconcerting level of willingness to assume the worst of everyone outside of family.

  3. 2 comments :

    – “The U.S. has a proud tradition of assimilating legal immigrants into a high-trust society, but it succeeds in this by making them non-diverse – teaching them to assimilate folk values and blend in.”: before the period of cheap permanent mobile internet, keeping links with family was hard for immigrants; they had to blend in, and were not chastised by their far away family for adopting new ways. Now, immigrants can, and should for their own good, continue to belong to the group they belonged to before immigrating. This means they remain diverse, or at least integrate a lot more slowly. Network bandwidth price will continue to drop, so this fact will aggravate.

    – The exode from country to city is aggravating the integration problem. An immigrant taking residence in a 100-person village is quickly known and integrated. 100 immigrants in 100 villages too. But 100 immigrants in a 10.000 persons city are merely ignored, not integrated.

    • I’m reminded of the common Southern custom of walking up to one’s neighbor’s house with a pie, cake, or plate of cookies and an invitation to dinner. I always found it hard to do, and only later came around to its importance. No one ever explained it to me, either; I think it was instinctive for most of them. Most Southern kids probably saw this done and either understood it, or simply followed the biological imperative to mimic one’s authority figures.

      I’m also reminded of my own efforts to make friends in my apartment complex. It almost never took, since anyone there was likely gone within a year as they moved to another place. There’s a very tangible scaling problem with this mechanism of building neighborly trust.

      • The practice of bringing a cake recently backfired (I think) on my family here in an Atlanta suburb. We were very welcoming, and all was well and good at first. But these Croatian refugees apparently mistook politeness for naivety and weakness as they began disrespecting our property rights and (among other things) ignoring our polite request to prevent their dog from scaling our 5ft privacy fence.

        It was disappointing to need to involve the city, but after the 8th incident or so it was evident they felt no social or cultural imperative as a neighbor.

        My first take away was “don’t let kindness be interpreted as weakness” and my 2nd was that “social authority may be needed to mediate conflicts across cultures”.

        • Your second is probably the most important, and the first an instance of it. Lacking a shared social context, so many of our signals are not properly received. I think it was Thomas Sowell who wrote about how different cultures have different “kinesthetic” non-verbal language (posture, gestures, “body language”) and that when the words someone is saying to you and their kinesthetics don’t match, you don’t trust them. This explains why there can be distrust between ethnic groups even without it being “racism” per se.

          This seems spot on to me. To tie a nice bow on top of overarching theme of this essay, when we don’t trust each other, the civil society breaks down, and our interactions are more based upon fear (threats of private violence, or by government proxy).

          • And this can be worse when it comes to Eastern European culture, because kindness without a display of strength is seen as weakness. And of course, in these cultures weakness has to be dominated and so they reacted in the way their culture has learned them to do. Can you unlearn this? I do not know.

        • From my view, you just described one of the two major paths that neighborly strategy can take. Everyone in my locality was aware that the neighbors could respond to the cake with exploitation. The point was to do it anyway, early, within days of the new people moving in, in order to find out what sort of neighbors they would be.

          Another way to look at it: you found out early that your refugees needed to be encouraged to move elsewhere or assimilate. What if you had instead waited until they had set down roots and now are able to present themselves as some sort of pillar in the community, and it was YOU who needed to move?

          Yet another way to look at it: bringing that cake to the front door makes you vulnerable to them taking advantage, yes. OTOH – pursuant to “don’t let kindness be interpreted as weakness” – it’s understood in this strategy that if the neighbor exploits you, then that’s the last cake they get. Not only that, but everything that follows it. They can’t bring their kids to play dates. They can’t borrow your lawnmower. They can’t ask you for a ride to the hospital. They can’t rely on you to walk over and check on their house if you see shady characters nearby while they’re on vacation.

          In other words, this strategy is simply TIT-FOR-TAT, as the game theorists put it. Indeed, Americans’ response to illegal immigration can be viewed as following that strategy.

          • Well after this experience I’m was intrigued to learn of the Ben Franklin effect. That people are more likely to do a favor for someone they’ve already done a favor for, so if you want to kick off the tit for tat game, maybe its better to break the ice asking for a teaspoon of sugar instead of bringing them a cake.

            • Shrug. A cake was easy enough, while at the same time being hard enough that it comes off as a credible commit.

              And who borrows just a teaspoon of sugar these days? If you want something more committal, ask them if they’d be willing to help you jump your car. I had a neighbor who did that for me a couple years back. I provided the cable. It ended in a handshake. It would’ve gone farther if they hadn’t moved away.

    • >This means they remain diverse,

      I’ll note that both you and ESR are using the older/dictionary meaning of “diverse.” Nowadays, your skin color at birth determines whether or not you are “diverse.” And thus, nothing you do or don’t do will change that fact. See Rachel Dolezal; c.f., Michael Jackson.

    • That rural/urban divide explanation is plausible, and I don’t have the numbers, but I suspect that for over a century immigrants have been moving primarily to the biggest US cities, like New York and Chicago. Growing up in a Los Angeles suburb, I had neighbors who moved from Brooklyn. I could hardly understand even the parents, let alone the Yiddish-speaking grandmother. I’m a third-generation Californian, but these working-class New York Jews taught me about hospitality.

  4. One consistent experience of mine is that immigrant donor countries are actually better places and having more likable people than immigrant communities in the West. Mexico has a lots of problems but still people like Fred Reed like to live there, would Fred also like to live in a Mexican community in California? And I will take Istanbul over Berlin’s Turkish neighboorhoods in an instant.

    The reason is that current immigration systems have perverse incentives that select for the worst people. Partially illegality, yes. Willingness to break one law predicts willingness to break others and banning but not actually enforcing “undocumented” immigration pretty literally means “criminals are welcome”. But there is also what one may call semi-legal immigration, family reunifications and suchlike, which systems are widely gamed. And asylum fraud and all that.

    Meanwhile, actually good people can often immigrate only if they can pass some fairly high education, qualification, or income thresholds. Pretty sure almost nobody in bad immigrant neighborhoods ever passed those.

    This leads to absolutely perverse situations where bad people are welcome and good people are deported. Like, personal experience, Canadian dude moves to the EU because of his girlfriend, works in food service, government raises the income threshold for the work permit, now he either gets promoted into management or has to leave. Makes no sense, any common sense “king” judging the situation would say leave that dude alone, he is no genius but no trouble either. Meanwhile, in the very same country, there are gangs of curiously Pashtun-speaking “undocumented Syrian asylum seekers” are roaming the streets and scaring the girls.

    The whole system is set up perversely and with a very adverse selection, welcoming everybody who is at least willing to lie, while keeping the decent folks out. If all the bad apples were deported and it would turn out there is not enough labor force (which I doubt, automatization and all that) then just dropping the education / income quotas for the actually good people who come the proper way would do the trick.

    • Sadly I’ve seen the same happen in Australia. To the point that the NSW police had to create Asian and Middle Eastern Organised Crime task forces because the ‘refugees’ had not only taken over organised crime but hugely expanded it. (Readers here will not be surprised to hear that they were too successful and have recently been disbanded).

      • Of course they were successful, a culture of hard work doesn’t change just because you’re doing illegal stuff.

        As for “disbanded”, don’t go long on that bet.

        • He means that the Task Forces were successful in breaking up the crime organizations, and were subsequently disbanded – probably after some extreme-liberal people called their mission “racist”.

          • Yes, that’s what I meant. Apologies for the ambiguity. Spot on about the accusation of ‘racism’ but that’s no surprise to anyone, I’m sure.

  5. It’s very simple, really. A country’s success can be boiled down to:

    – Average IQ (and this is genetically, including racially, determined to a large degree)
    – High trust – trusting the system, not cheating on welfare, leaving the door unlocked, knowing your neighbors by name, etc

    Historically, high trust is almost a synonym for ethnic homogeneity. I can’t think of another mechanism to build it upon (at least not outside of artificial situations like eg the military).

    If you have a high IQ population but no homogenous substrate to generate that high trust, the best you can end up with is Singapore. And that requires having a LKY class benevolent dictator running the place. There is inherent instability waiting to pop out as soon as you have less of an enlightened iron fist constantly pushing down the underlying tension in the system.

    To me, this is obvious. But why isn’t it obvious to the “intellectual elite”?

    One explanation: I think the “intellectual liberal elites” (for lack of a better word) are addicted to complexity and nuance. They love narratives that introduce a bunch of variables and end with a question mark. They eschew simple explanations (like mine above) because they are too “simplistic”, or something like that. Being too simplistic signals the wrong things, whereas being nuanced and full of question marks signals the right things.

    They don’t realize that that is mid-wit reasoning, and that sometimes the best explanation *is* the most simple one.

    What it looks like when liberal elites start peeking at reality: https://www.bloomberg.com/view/articles/2018-02-23/you-can-t-have-denmark-without-danes

    • Our scholastic systems breed only sheep “intellectuals” that’s what funding is all about. Selectively “breeding” “intellectuals” to fit their corporate strategy.

    • It’s not just an addiction to complexity. The elites don’t experience a low-trust society because they’re surrounded with people who have been molded to be just like them. It’s very hard to finish at an American University without absorbing American middle-class values. The degree opens up a lot of jobs at pay rates that mostly allow you to live somewhere you’re surrounded by other graduates. And even if some of your neighbors are immigrants, they’re probably college-educated, too, which means you’re physically safe. And you don’t notice the cheating on exams because you chalk up their success to hard studying.

      And if you’re just out of college and don’t have a very good job yet, you’d rather live in a Mexican neighborhood than a black neighborhood, even if you venture into the black neighborhood for barbecue once in a while. So you don’t develop any social solidarity with the native working class.

      • Yep. And they make damn sure they keep their illusions intact by refusing to live within anywhere near the people they supposedly support, which in itself indicates how much of a sham it is. To take an example more relevant to me than blacks or mexicans: “All the muslims I know are lovely people!”. Well yeah. Firstly, the only muslims you know are the members of your university’s propaganda society, who are carefully chosen and groomed to be non-frightening; and secondly, you make a point of never actually entering any muslim-majority suburbs (except on a revealingly-named food safari) or bookshop.

        • That should have said ‘muslim bookshop’, an experience I highly recommend to anyone who has one in the neighborhood. You’re likely to find it illuminating.

    • I think there’s something to this, and I think it contributes to the low opinions a lot of people have towards their ‘elites’.

      Plus one can only listen to high-falutin’ pablum for so long while simultaneously witnessing, say, the 2008 fiscal crisis before one learns that a lot of what our elites say is empty bluster.

      At that point it becomes rather difficult to not hate them.

    • High trust can also be cultural homogeneity. Consider a group of ethnically diverse Mormons.
      Trust – security – is expensive. If you don’t need locks, it saves money. It goes beyond that with (true) charity.
      One error is we’ve replaced trust with FICO scores and other big data analyses of creditworthiness and such. It works for globalism since you don’t have to know someone so as to trust that a handshake is as good as a sacred oath. But the converse is trust can be easy to hack. Feed the trustbots and you appear a saint.

    • Ethnic homogenity may be a necessary requirement for high trust, but it is not sufficient. Full-Arab countries are usually low trust, Eastern Europe suffered a significant trust drop after Communism failed etc.

      Let’s try to understand the potential mechanism. High trust requires trustworthiness, cooperative behavior in the Prisoner Dilemma sense. Uncooperative behavior has to have a cost, a punishment. The most obvious one is a loss of social status, standing, cred.

      But social status is in the eye of the beholder and in practice only works inside communities.

      For positive cred the communities can be very small, e.g. you can’t take your hacker cred into the martial arts dojo. For negative cred, which matters for trust policing, they can be larger.

      The way to interpret your point is that an ethnic group forms a status community, that is, betraying the trust of someone in the community means negative cred with everybody, if they hear about it.

      But this does not seem like a sufficient condition, see above. Whether it is necessary, good question. Switzerland is high trust, but do white people speaking different languages and worshipping different flavors of Christianity count as different ethnicities? One could argue that in some sense, all of Western Europe, left of the Hajnal line is one ethnicity. In some other sense not, looking at the Valloon-Flemish cattiness about language.

      Why did Eastern Europe suffer a trust drop after Communism went tits up? Largely because governments also create ladders of status. This used to be called in older times as “the king as the font of honor”. If a government keeps telling people basically all kinds of getting rich is bad, and then it collapses, then people will think now all kinds of getting rich is good and gangsterism ensues.

      The black pill, most cynical model would be saying all status ladders, hence all social policing of trustworthiness, hence trust, is downstream from power. Not sure it can be defended. Or I don’t know. Case study. In the 18th century committing high treason against he king was incredibly low status. One of the most despicable things. Yet the American Revolution won and was able to create a different status ladder where patriots rebelling against tyrants are high status and respected. Why? Because they won? So in this sense, downstream from power, whoever wins, whoever has the biggest guns, so to speak, creates the status ladder? Yet, patriots and tories had basically the same status ladder in everything else, including the things that matter in societal trust: fair dealing, fulfilling contracts, paying debts, respecting property etc.

      • Group actions and behaviors can be motivated by trust (inherent bias), persuasion (real-time cognitive influence), coercion (threat of force or harm), and compulsion (direct application of force or harm). Modeling suggests that the highest and most stable social efficiency results when trust in endemic and comprehensive. The remaining three are more temporal and only persist when these behaviors artificially reinforce selective reproduction fitness.

        Interestingly, trust can be a significant disadvantage in next-generation warfare. State actors can (and will) exploit this vulnerability in order to infiltrate and undermine insurgent enemy organizations.

        This is a complex subject matter for which intuition alone is inadequate.

      • Ethnic homogenity may be a necessary requirement for high trust, but it is not sufficient. Full-Arab countries are usually low trust

        Depends on the country, I’ve heard reports that Arab countries ruled along traditional lines, like Saudi Arabia and the UAE, are incredible high trust, e.g., goldsmiths don’t bother locking up their shops when they go for lunch. It’s the ones that attempt to govern via a cargo cult imitation of Western methods, e.g., Syria, Iraq, Egypt, that are low trust.

        Switzerland is high trust, but do white people speaking different languages and worshipping different flavors of Christianity count as different ethnicities?

        Switzerland is a federal state, actually federal in a way the USA no longer is. In particular nearly all important decisions are made at the canton level.

        Or I don’t know. Case study. In the 18th century committing high treason against he king was incredibly low status. One of the most despicable things.

        Not really, parliament had not that long ago executed one king, deposed another, and monkeyed with the succession laws to preemptively prevent a bunch of others from taking power. Thus legislators resisting the power of a king was in fact high status among the English.

        • Isn’t Saudi Arabia and the UAE places where thieves would get their hands cut off in punishment to stealing? Traitors will also get beheaded, etc…
          So it is easy to see why people feel a lot of “trust”. The price for an offence in those places make the offences not pay.

    • Historically, high trust is almost a synonym for ethnic homogeneity. I can’t think of another mechanism to build it upon (at least not outside of artificial situations like eg the military).

      Ethnic, cultural, & linguistic homogeneity—chose any two. The US has done okay with cultural & linguistic homogeneity (except that both those are under attack from people who are dismayed to find that some Whites are organizing themselves by race); Switzerland & Holland, ethnic & cultural; and with some stretching one might say Israel is an example of ethnic & linguistic homogeneity with cultural diversity.

      (Someone brought up Arab nations as a counter-example, but I’m not sure it is: tribal identity means they draw both ethnic and cultural boundaries a lot closer in than we outsiders might imagine.)

    • I’m a little dubious about this. Genuine intellectuals prize complexity and nuance, true. You seem to be talking more about pseudo intellectuals who are actually addicted to conformity and diktats.

    • “– Average IQ (and this is genetically, including racially, determined to a large degree)”

      Except that it is not.
      The Role of Nutrition in Brain Development: The Golden Opportunity of the “First 1000 Days”
      http://europepmc.org/articles/pmc4981537

      Eradication of the three most prevalent micronutrient deficiencies—iron, zinc, and iodine–could increase the world IQ by 10 points.

      Severe iodine deficiency can result in cretinism, marked by deficits in hearing, speech, and gait and IQ of approximately 30

      Prenatal deficiencies and a lot of other environmental factors can severely impact IQ (which has its own methodological problems as a predictor to success)

      • It’s widely known that various environmental insults (malnutrition, chronic poisoning) can decrease IQ.

        In the absence of any of these insults, you achieve your genetic potential. Which is genetically determined (heritability .5-.8) and varies greatly among races.

        • “genetically determined (heritability .5-.8)”

          You obviously do not know what heritability actually means. It is not what you think it means. It most certainly does not mean “inherited”.
          See my comment and links elsewhere:
          http://esr.ibiblio.org/?p=7871#comment-1937438

          In other news, you can increase your IQ score by upto 9 points by training. See my comments and links here:
          http://esr.ibiblio.org/?p=7871#comment-1937415

          Conclusion, IQ is a miserable tool to compare people.

          • In other news, you can increase your IQ score by up to 9 points by training. […] Conclusion, IQ is a miserable tool to compare people.

            You can change your health with exercise and diet.

            You can change your appearance with clothing and makeup.

            You can change your knowledge and skills with study and practice.

            You can change your economic status with work and investments.

            Conclusion, [anything] is a miserable tool to compare people…?

            • “You can change your health with exercise and

              Great comparison! Just like health, is IQ not your destiny. It can be changed for the good and the

    • As a “Liberal Elite” I think racism and prejudice are bigger, more damaging problems than illegal immigration. Unfortunately, huge amounts of anti-immigrant sentiment are not based on “practical” issues, but on issues of skin color or religion. (Why wouldn’t any sane Muslim want to get out of the Muddled East and join a society which is less likely to be a theocracy or dictatorship?) So as a Liberal, I want to give priority to dealing with issues of racism and tend to regard concerns about immigration as being rooted in racist thinking. (Note an exception to this policy below.)

      Racism is immensely destructive of the kind of trust Eric is talking about above, and it’s worth noting that racists are like rapists – they are likely to be serial offenders with many victims, all of whom then become less trusting of society as a whole. If you want a non-racist solution to immigration, put your time and energy into punishing people who hire illegal immigrants, like Donald Trump. Once there’s a good, long history of busting American business people who hire illegals, illegal immigration will no longer be a problem. I’ll also note that wages for poor people will increase if those who hire illegals are punished, because they frequently hire illegals precisely to drive down their labor costs.

      This brings up an important issue. If someone says “I hate illegal immigration because it pushes wages down” I know that we’ve got something in common politically. If some says, “Those dirty immigrants commit crimes and add to mistrust in our culture,” then I strongly suspect I’m dealing with someone who hasn’t thought through the issues very clearly and may well be racist.

      As to people who want to designate their town a “sanctuary city” I don’t get it either, (though we discussed the economic and policing issues a couple months back, I think.)

      I strongly suspect that many Liberals remember the struggles of their immigrant ancestors, including the reasons for leaving the “motherland” and they are capable of generalizing that to modern immigrants. We’re all good Americans now, so why worry about this generation of immigrants?

      • You are talking nonsense. Racists aren’t usually serial rapists . It’s usually the immigrants who are 5th century tribal savages who rape because they have no idea about female rights which were nowhere to appear in their previous god deserted dry land. It’s the white privileged who call the shots that exemplify treating human beings as cattle or lab mice that “rape” their ideas and pull experiments on poor unprivileged people affecting their entire lives.

        BTW Rape itself is more destructive to trust than utter racism, which is first and foremost a personal opinion and not a physical assault.

        • Racism is not a personal opinion. People can be prejudiced or unprejudiced. Racism is a structural factor in society. And physical assault is often very much a part of it. Ask Cheney, Goodman, and Schwerner.

          • >Racism is a structural factor in society.

            I used to think “structural racism” was a useful concept. I no longer do.

            The trouble is that it’s become a panchreston. People incant “structural racism” as though it should end all analysis or argument over whatever inequity in question really stems from racism or not, or is even an actual problem at all. It’s the linguistic equivalent of “disparate impact” in law.

            Increasingly, users of this phrase seem uninterested in solving problems and more interested in maintaining a pre-existing grievance. They’ve trained me to view the phrase not as an indictment of its ostensible subject but of its speaker.

  6. ” are roaming the streets and scaring the girls.”

    The illegals are doing a lot more than just *scaring* the girls.

    One thing missing from esr’s otherwise excellent analysis is this: the fact that Sharia Law (and therefore Islam in the main) is utterly incompatible, and actively hostile to, and openly aims to destroy western law, civilization, history, and culture. We’re long past the time where any immigration from Islamic countries should be cut to zero and most of the recent imports sent back home.

    • Except for those Muslims who are leaving their own countries exactly because of the craziness of those who wish to impose Sharia law. Essentially, the Sharia Law advocates are every bit as nuts as those who wish to establish a Christian theocracy here in the U.S. – If either U.S. theocrats or *Country’s* Sharia Law advocates gain power, it’s time to leave!

      There’s a great book about the Islamic conflict between Sharia and non-Sharia ideology, (though it doesn’t address American immigration,) called The Badass Librarians of Timbucktoo. It concerns the efforts of multiple Islamic scholars to protect the ancient books of Timbuktu from Al Quaeda. The link contains a decent review. I’d consider it very much worth reading.

  7. To add my two cents to Hoppe’s wealth:

    1. The elites live in SEGRE Gated Communities, and if there are ANY minorities, they tend to be fully assimilated, or often the elite from other countries. They don’t live among the people their virtue signalling is bringing in. If they did they “couldn’t have nice things”, at least for very long.

    2. Remember half of the bell curve is on the other side. We had a social contract with blue collar workers that selected for high time preference. Work 5 years you get a pension. 20, you are fully vested. You could raise a family with your wife at home and have vacations with the wages ad benefits.

    “Free Trade” means now we have gypsy Starbuck jobs, and where it used to be $30/hr with benefits but T-Shirts were $10, we now have $10/hr, no benefits, but T-Shirts are $5. And that doesn’t include the social costs.

    Even Libertarianism is a social contract as Hoppe notes, and if you bring in people who hate freedom (because of responsibility), you won’t have liberty for long.

    But what has been happening is the Virtue Signalling elites (e.g. #NeverTrump at National Review as well as the left like Pelosi) have broken the contract. The purpose of “Fathers” are to protect and provide, and this has slithered into becoming the Welfare State, but they aren’t protecting (crime), nor really providing (if you want a job, not an EBT card – protection includes economic protection). So why am I paying taxes? Why should I be obedient to these corrupt crony scoundrels?

    Hence Trump. What most didn’t see between Trump and the 16 dwarves, and Trump and Hillary (and even Bernie) is they had differeing Social Contracts. Eva Perlinton was to be a corrupt dictator, confiscate guns, but make every form of debauchery legal, and give cash to the identity groups. Trump’s MAGA was a call to return to the Socal Contract under Reagan and before.

    Democrats can’t win on policy, so they want to change the demographics. Import voters – but not just any voters, those who are from corrupt crony socialist countries that can become welfare dependents. Assimilation would ruin this.

    If you want to see, look at Zimbabwe or now South Africa where the welfare socialists removed the whites from the “magic dirt” that provided food, water, and electricity. I say magic dirt because the replacement blacks who got the farms didn’t know how to farm, and those who got infrastructure jobs don’t know engineering. You can also see this in Venezuela which still has oil but everything is breaking down because of a similar redistribution. Atlas Shrugged’s storyline in real life.

    But to end where I started, the Elites all have walls around their Segre-Gated Communities. Whom are they trying to keep out? And if they like their individual walls, but are collectivists, why shouldn’t we have one big collective wall to keep out the same kind of people? I don’t see them turning their mansions (or the USCCB opening their Churches) to sanctuaries for illegals. I have to pay for their upkeep via my taxes. If they like Illegals so much, let them sponsor, take full responsibility for, and pay for any immigrants they want. They would be accessories to any crime they would commit. They would have to put up a bond, and pay for insurance or bear the cost of medical emergencies or accidents.

    It’s great when you live in a Segre Gated Community and let Other People’s Money pay for your virtue signalling. But the actual libertarian call should be for them to bear the results of their decisions.

    • Since my comment with links got eaten, here’s the gist.

      The elites commit “charity” with taxpayer dollars and flyover land. They import our replacements at our expense, cram them in next to us, and then ignore the violence generated except when they can gin up a gun control frenzy.

      Bernie Sanders alone has three mansions. If he wanted to help some refugees he can put them up in his own home instead of leaving them next to me.

    • > …they tend to be fully assimilated, or often the elite from other countries.

      ITYM “the gardners, house keepers and nannies”

      We had a social contract with blue collar workers that selected for high time preference. Work 5 years you get a pension. 20, you are fully vested. You could raise a family with your wife at home and have vacations with the wages ad benefits.

      This happened for a brief period between WWII and about 1980. This was at least partially a function of the US military having destroyed most of the industrial infrastructure in Europe and Japan.

      Then Japan learned how to build good products and the US largely forgot.

      We’ve relearned it, outside the auto industry.

    • IMO It’s all just a big scheme to crush the middle class with a ‘mass’ of incompatible uneducated and regressive folks who share no awareness or interest in human rights and progressive modernism.

      Because the weakness inherent to the democratic system, where the majority gets to vote and make rules instead of a selected educated and fit few means that the fastest to physically multiply (3rd worlders) are given a priority on setting how life is gonna be.

      Without proper taxes on progeny or straight out cancelling voting rights to uneducated/poor folks this can only go worse and WILL be used to keep the few elite sheltered from the threatening middle class. … Until we are all put in virtual realities of our own.

  8. [Laissez-faire & welfare-state] is a contradiction.

    Responsibility is missing. If the immigrant importer had to pay the costs of the immigrant – all welfare, any prison cells, the costs of police or court action, and could be sued for unpleasant behaviour by the immigrant – then you can have laissez-faire immigration.

    Also the breach of associative freedom needs to be repealed. The first society that realize things like segregation don’t have to be either mandatory or forbidden is going to sweep the board.

    • For every immigrant, either the immigrant himself or a sponsor should have to put up a bond to cover the cost of travel back to their home country in the event they are convicted of crimes, or are unable to support themselves and would otherwise apply for welfare (which should not be available to non-citizens) and no private charity is willing/able to support them.

    • We used to have a system by which employers had to pay the whole costs of their employees. It became economically unsustainable and was abolished, though not without the use of military force.

  9. Apparently something was wrong with my earlier Hoppe post – and Hoppe is the Libertarian, par excellance and successor to Rothbard, so has cred.

    https://www.theburningplatform.com/2017/10/22/hans-hoppe-libertarianism-the-alt-right-and-antifa-a-libertarian-strategy-for-social-change/

    The whole thing is good, but search for “bad neighbor” and read the paragraphs following. He explains the problem with open borders and immigration by talking about the problem if your neighbor has a very different culture and doesn’t care so can’t be ostracized.

  10. “because the restaurants can hire illegals for cheaper.”

    Illegal’s aren’t cheaper because they can accept a lower livable wage (as is often put forward as a zing against the deplorables). They are cheaper because they are being paid under the table; without the paperwork of taxes, without the not-insignificant social security match payments that the employer pays but employee never sees, a lower risk of lawsuit or workman’s compensation. The illegal workforce is effectively disposable. An illegal immigrant has an advantage because they are quicker to accept this deal because they are already breaking the law just by breathing on the wrong side of our border…

    When your not an elite the only number that you think about is written on your paycheck at the end of the day/week. But public discussion of immigration always avoids the question of how many dollars an employer needs to pay a legal employee that never impacts said paycheck. If I can afford $100 a day for a construction laborer, I can find an illegal worker who will take $100; but I can’t put a legal worker on the books for $50-70 and still have my occasional12-14 hour workdays. Also, enterprising illegal workers do still collect social assistance while earning these undocumented wages.

    You can’t even have this discussion because the left-leaning voter base would have to admit that their social welfare programs have unintended consequences and the right-leaning base would have to admit that small business tax evasion is the norm, rather than the exception. Channeling my inner Jordan Peterson I would say our society is crumbling into chaos because it’s corrupt to its core.

    To represent the long-term interests of our working class, I think you need to impose immigration rules that economically discourage fraud and abuse in our labor markers rather than encourage them. But you can’t get a corrupt majority to vote to be punished for systemic corruption.

    • Yes, I agree with that and have to add something.
      If, as an illegal, getting paid cash under the table, what happens if you don’t get paid?
      What do you do if …?
      You are illegal, and therefor not protected under the law.
      When someone is supporting illegal immigration, they need to wonder what they are asking. They are supporting a second class in the USA. A class without protection, that can be cheated and extorted by their employers, landlords and the whole system.
      When someone says “I support illegals entering the USA” they are saying, “I want a slave class to do the dirty work”. That makes me very sad for the leadership of my country.

      • The problem here is that anti-immigrant sentiment legitimizes racism. So while I support immigrants, both legal and otherwise, I don’t support the practice of abusing them (with lower wages and worse working conditions.)

        If you want to solve the problem, arrest those who hire illegals and put them in jail. In addition to doing time, they can reimburse the illegals for the any money paid which was below the minimum wage, including O.T., and also reimburse the government for any taxes and social security they didn’t collect. Once the jobs dry up illegals won’t cross the border (unless they’re genuine refugees.)

        Unfortunately, this puts law enforcement in the difficult position of arresting rich white people who are “pillars of the community” *spits* but sometimes it has to be done!

  11. The experience in Canada is significantly different, but that may be in part due to the wide agreement that more immigration is good in a period when the “baby boom” is retiring. One class does badly, though: skilled professionals. Doctors and lawyers find themselves underemployed as they try (endlessly) to validate their credentials.

    • Actually, it’s very simple. The US is between Canada and the primary route for Illegal entry (which is via Mexico, most Illegals today come from southern Mexico, Guatemala and and points further south). That source largely cannot afford airfare.

      We do have a problem here with illegals, but they’re largely restricted to the Carribean & Tamil communities in the GTA, and far smaller in number even among those communities than the US as a whole. So not a big issue overall.

      • Canada has a merit-based immigration system. The absolute numbers are quite large, but e.g. there’s no Canadian lottery system. As a result Canada largely accepts prosocial, upright citizens, the exact opposite of the kind of person who immigrates illegally.

        • Indeed, the average native-born Canadian wouldn’t qualify to immigrate to Canada. Whereas, in the US, the legal immigrants are (on average) less qualified than the average native-born citizen– legal immigration is dominated by “family reunification” rather than merit– and the average illegal immigrant is far, far less qualified than the average citizen and to be a societal “problem” (below the poverty line, no health/vehicle insurance, criminal record, highschool dropout, can’t speak English, etc.)

          No surprise that most Canadians think that immigrants are a net plus, while most Americans think the opposite– this is, in fact, the case.

          • The reason “the average native-born Canadian wouldn’t qualify to immigrate to Canada” is generally because that Canadian does not have the skills to work in an occupation that has been designated as being needed.

            You are comparing apples to oranges: the average person in the rest of the world doesn’t qualify either.

            • This is the same everywhere. Immigrants in the Netherlands have to do a civic integration examination that consists of knowledge of Dutch society and of the Dutch language. It is well known that the majority of the Members of the Dutch Parliament would fail that exam, as would the ministers in the government. Mainly, because the questions in the exam goes beyond the rediculous.

              But going beyond the farcical, it is a simple fact that almost all countries want immigrants to be better employees that the average citizen.

  12. “The experience in Canada is significantly different,”

    That’s rapidly changing from what I read. Even the man-child Trudeau is having to rethink his come-one-come-all policy.

  13. This article seems to be written from a very naive perspective.
    This is an excellent video on migration, culture, borders etc:

    “Why I Was Wrong About Nationalism” by Stefan Molyneux


  14. They think we’ve betrayed and abandoned them for a mess of virtue signaling and glib ideologizing. On the left: identity politics, PC, and open borders justified on multiculturalist grounds. On the right: free trade and open borders justified on laissez-faire principle.

    I’d claim that one of the things that is causing resentment isn’t even the immigrants as such: It is the fact that they are being EXPLICITLY used as replacements for the low-status (and not so low-status in the case of software engineers) natives. This is happening both in terms of work (train your replacement and die in a ghetto), and in terms of voting (illegal if you’re not yet a full citizen, but being quite deliberately tolerated and encouraged with a smirk.)

    So, no, we don’t think you’re betraying us for virtue signaling. You’re betraying us because we’re expensive, we’re not pliable and dependent serfs, and we’re not voting to keep you in power. The virtue signaling is one part leftist mental tic and one part rationalization. You want to disposes us. You scream it from the podium that you want to take what we have, and that immigrants are your instrument, and that you were almost demographically there if it weren’t for those meddling populists. Err .. I mean “Russians”. Yeah…

    Given that, how could Trump (or worse) NOT happen?

    I’m actually a pretty big fan of civic nationalism. I *don’t* like the alt right, and I don’t like racism. (Nevermind the wild accusations I’ve had to deal with my whole life simply because of my skin color and last name … ) But whether or not civic nationalism ends up being the suicide pact that the alt right (and the left) think it is is going to depend a lot on the behavior of the tens-millions of new immigrants. Will they try to assimilate, or will they (a prospect the left publicly salivates over) vote to eat the natives and take our stuff? If the latter, then people like me are gone as a force in politics. There might be a brief and doomed nativist reaction that probably will end up being racist (because people are attacking each other on the basis of race and tribe at that point. Loyalty to nation and fellow citizen will be long gone). It’ll be doomed because the natives are outnumbered (as the leftists predict and plan). And then our constitutional republic will be ground under the treads of the socialist tanks and the middle of the country will be dispossessed (as an academic I know outlined in one of the dinners where I sat in the corner trying to keep a neutral expression).

    *by native, I mean someone who has been here a while, has established him/herself in this country, and has a stake in it (and something to lose/loot). I.E., the middle class bourgeoisie, favorite prey of leftists for centuries.
    *by you, I mean the so-called cognitive elite, our new would be lords and masters
    *by us, I mean anyone who works for a living, whose margin of survival has been getting thinner and thinner over the decades as taxes, rent, and international competition has been eating anything we could earn.

  15. It’s easy to reconcile border control and libertarianism. Libertarians are not anarchists. We believe in law, and borders are set by law.

    Libertarians want to maximize personal liberty and responsibility, and to minimize the impact of government has on self-ownership, self-determination, and self-actualization.

    If libertarians are trying to foster a lasting culture of personal liberty and responsibility, the historic direction of American culture, that culture needs to be protected while it develops and matures. Uncontrolled immigration of people who favor other cultural directions will significantly dilute or damage that effort.

    If personal liberty, responsibility, equality, justice, and prosperity are the goal, you can’t get there if you’re flooding the country with people who don’t share those beliefs, who form insular conclaves that resist or delay assimilation. Controlling immigration reduces conclave formation and improves and speeds assimilation.

    • Either you only allow in people who already assent to the NAP, or you need to put a gun to their heads and force them – violently – to accept it. That is the contradiction to “open borders” libertarians.

      Almost like the missionaires and cannibals puzzle where if the cannibals ever outnumber the missionaries, the latter will become dinner. If libertarians let in socialists (and guns will just be more property), and the socialists are the majority…

      Freedom isn’t free.

      The price of liberty is eternal vigilance.

    • “Libertarians are not anarchists.”

      Some libertarians are. 30 years ago, ESR himself convinced me that the only truly consistent and principled libertarians were anarchists.

      “We believe in law,”

      ONLY if that law is consistent with the NAP. Furthermore, you can have law without the state. There are various historical examples of this. Read up on customary law.

      “We believe in law, and borders are set by law.”

      That argument leaves no room to complain about or resist *any* unjust law. The Nazis were very careful to do everything by the book, entirely in accordance with law. It’s just that the law itself was horribly unjust and tyrannical.

    • > Libertarians are not anarchists.

      Until 3-4 years ago a lot of libertarians were just pot smokers. Now they’ve gone back to the Democrats.

      The few libertarians that are still left, half of them just hate paying taxes, and the other half are upper middle class aspies.

      I say that as an upper middle class aspie with strong libertarian reasons, but a perfect willingness to shoot back first, just like Han Solo.

      • Small “l” libertarians are mostly about individual prescriptions for living an ethical life (e.g. love of liberty, self-reliant, leave me alone). Large “L” libertarians are largely stubborn idealists that fantasize about a maximum liberty society, but have no realistic prospect of getting us there. The former is a ground-up movement via assimilation and the latter is a top-down movement via politics.

        • I’ve been on the fringes of Big L stuff since I found out about it in the early 1990s.

          I agree with most of it at the philosophical level, but it fails (as do other isms) to deal with two critical flaws in human nature. Or rather one flaw, and one characteristic that might be a flaw under the right circumstances, but is just part of human nature.

          The one flaw is the charismatic sociopath–the Bill Clinton, the Obama, the Trump (possibly). The guy who really doesn’t give a f*k about the truth, reality, you, or anyone but himself and his ego. He will look you straight in the eye and tell you he loves you and then orders someone to kill you and bring your wife to his room 2 minutes later.

          The other flaw is our tribalism. we will swarm around this guy and make excuses for him. Our women will show up with knee pads to service him (or our men if that’s what he wants).

          This means that any big-L libertarian state is massively unstable unless it’s 50% middle class male engineers, and 50% their wives.

          Which, honestly would be an awesome place to live. Shit would *work*, and if it didn’t 50 guys with screwdrivers would show up to fix it just because it was broke.

        • Part of me likes idealistic libertarians, to the extent that they’re actively studying what would happen if the practical libertarians kept going as they currently are for sufficiently many iterations. In other words, idealists are studying practicalism in the limit.

          That said, I agree that most idealists are more likely advocates of a vision than honest academic critics. (David D. Friedman springs to my mind as an example of the latter, given that he has given talks about what could go wrong with a libertarian society.) But I can still rely on any idealist to give the rosiest picture of any philosophy, and then ask myself whether I would prefer it, or if I would stop short somewhere.

  16. @’Rust-belt steelworker’

    ‘Tis sixty years since D-JFK broke US Steel. Every time the D party breaks an industry, they break a source of jobs. If the D party hadn’t broken steel and cars and planes and broken the industrial Midwest into the Rustbelt, immigration would be a lot less of a problem. In fact we might want more. But they did, and they keep doing it, and we don’t.

    • Steel broke themselves by not modernizing. Automobile companies broke themselves by refusing to recognize the threat from Japanese cars. Etc. The history of all these things is very well documented once you look beyond the work of ranting right-wing bloggers.

  17. Do you want more Trump?

    Yes please. And that’s coming from someone living in an affluent community in a deep blue state. We need more, MUCH more, of President Trump’s style of thinking. America first. Foreigners can only come to America if they want to become Americans. Anything else will turn us into a nation of equivalent shitholeness to the nation they came from. And you know it.

    • Actually, I wanted Ron Paul. But since he was Swamped by the Elites, well sometimes you realize that the battle won’t let you take the hight road.

      Even Federalism. Salt Lake City should be able to have a different culture than San Francisco. And it works both ways – the former might not want to recognize gay marriage, and the latter might want to be a Sanctuary City, but when there is only one rule for all 50 states, the battle will be whose/which rules.

      • You can’t have Sanctuary Cities. The Framers of the Constitution recognized that when they gave Congress control over immigration/naturalization law. The illegal immigrants won’t stay in the Sanctuary Cities.

        You can have different laws per state for abortion, drugs, SSM, etc., but there has to be uniform rule of who is allowed into the country and who gets to be a citizen once they’re here.

  18. I don’t know what this does for your argument however this is the link to a Washington TImes article
    https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2018/jan/26/illegals-commit-crimes-double-rate-native-born-stu/

    Some salient points
    1) It for Arizona only
    2) It conviction rate
    3) It focused on a select group of illegal immigrants 15 to 35.
    4) It was touted by Jeff Session a person noted for a particular point of view on immigration.
    In short this data smells.

    In contrast we have this article from the Cato Insitute
    https://www.cato.org/blog/immigration-myths-crime-number-illegal-immigrants

    And unlike what the criticism found in the Times articles said, it does look at illegal and legal immigration separately.

    Overall I think what needed is an independent look at what is going on accompanied by the raw data so anybody can look at how it was arrived at.

    • 3) It focused on a select group of illegal immigrants 15 to 35.

      In other words, the age cohort that commits the most crime….

  19. I live in rural Northwest PA a pretty deep red area of the state. I listen to my co-worker and friend on the issue and to me it all smells like the Know Nothingism thread that weaves through our history.

    As for the rust belt, which my town is very much a part of, our problems have little to do with immigration. Prior to immigrants the blame around here was laid on China, free trade, Wall Street, and Japan in no particular order. Sure all of these contributed to the rust-belt decline but to me it show the problem and underlying reasons are complex.

    For a time, my town was lucky in that the departure of THE employer left a bunch of small tool and die shop for the most part were small, nimble, and flexible by their nature. Most able to secure work elsewhere and thrived. But of course the 2001 and the 2007 recessions hit and now people worry again.

    The problem is not policy but process. We are a republic and a democracy, that means nobody gets their way. Compromise is the only way to get things done. Regardless how it got this way both major parties now dominated by factions that refuse any compromise. Both sides robe themselves as shining angels holding the front line against the other whose only goal is tear down all what makes America what it is.

    You know is doing this, us, not the elites, not the media, not Wall Street, and not corrupt billionaires. Sure they all pander to our prejudices and fears, but nobody is mind controlling or filtering information for me or my neighbors into voting the way we do.

    What a load of crap from both sides.

  20. “Overall I think what needed is an independent look at …”

    No such thing exists and never will in the current climate.

  21. It seems to me that one of the problems with immigrants, and one that’s worse in Europe than here, is that immigrants often belong to protected minorities—because “protected” often amounts in practice to “privileged.” The situation in Rotherham, UK, some years ago is a good illustration of this: Over a period of a decades or so, some 1500 girls who were below the UK’s age of consent were targeted for sustained sexual exploitation, generally not merely formally lacking in consent but clearly coercive. The great majority of the exploiters were Muslim men of South Asian origin. Police and child welfare workers systematically avoided taking action; those who wanted to were told by their superiors that if they did anything they could be accused of racism and their careers would be over. There was at least one reported case where the father of one of the girls tried to bring his daughter home and was order by police to back off or face arrest and imprisonment. There have been comparable problems in other nations such as Sweden.

    On one hand, letting in immigrants and not enforcing criminal laws against them is bound to produce resentment by and on behalf of the victims of their crimes, precisely because that immunity is a privilege. On the other, the immunity itself will encourage bad behavior by immigrants and make immigration more attractive to potential criminals. The United States didn’t have such policies in the nineteenth century, and that may well have helped make mass immigration more viable.

  22. One complicating factor is a confusion of Border Control with immigrant control. In fact borders can’t be completely controlled. Border control is people control. I’ve walked across weak spots in heavily fortified borders myself. Nothing against making the border itself harder to cross and funneling traffic to control points but only a defense in depth works.

    It is currently accepted that 4th Amendment rights are expressed differently in border zones as invasive searches that might well be unreasonable in most of the country are reasonable in defined border zones.

    Whatever effect I9 requirements might have illegal immigrants are scattered far from the borders in the U.S. of A.. Hence to control the borders implies making reasonable formerly unreasonable invasions of privacy. That too will impact trust.

    This will annoy a good many people. I don’t know about today but for many years the relative civilization of Chicago was a hardship post for folks who joined the Border Patrol to ride horses in the Big Bend Country and found themselves in Chicago as experts in forged documents.

    • “It is currently accepted that 4th Amendment rights are expressed differently in border zones”

      Despite the fact that no hint of any such exception can be found anywhere within the text of the 4th Amendment.

      • >no hint of any such exception can be found anywhere

        It’s not some special exception; the text of 4th Amendment states that it only forbids “unreasonable searches.” So the question becomes whether a search at a border crossing is “reasonable…” As you might guess, that’s been the uniform conclusion throughout our history. And I doubt the U.S. is unique on this point.

        • By “Our History” you mean “History since the notion of borders and smuggling began”.

          Right?

          Because the only states that DO NOT enforce such things are called “Failed States”.

        • The 4th Amendment clarifies what is an “unreasonable search” with these words: “and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.”

          BTW, your “defined border zones” extend 100 miles out from the borders, encompassing the majority of the American populace.

          • The second clause of the 4th amendment is not a clarification of the first; it’s an independent clause on the same subject. The first clause bans unreasonable searches altogether. The second clause regulates the issuance of warrants. Nowhere does the amendment say or imply that warrantless searches are unreasonable, because that is not true.

            In the 18th century the doctrine of qualified immunity hadn’t been invented, so the function of a warrant was to immunize the officer who executed it from civil suit. Officers could conduct searches without one if they liked, but if they were then sued they’d have to convince a jury that they’d acted reasonably.

            Border searches were never thought unreasonable and have never needed warrants. For as long as borders have existed it was taken for granted that inherent in the concept of crossing a border is the government’s right to search you.

          • If you count international airports as borders, I’d guess we’re talking about 90 percent of the U.S. population being subject to search without a warrant.

  23. Might there be a states’ rights solution somewhere? Trump made that “I can tell ICE and border patrol to leave California alone” quip. I wonder if he intentionally made it very chantable. (“Eye-Cee-Ee! Border-pat-rol! Leave Cali-for-ni-a a-lone!”) Perhaps he should make good on his threat, or at least ask the California legislature about it?

    I know there was a civil war and all, but this is not slavery. And you Americans are not even getting a lot of the really dangerous people anyway. Instead you send them *our* way, Europe, by policies that have nothing to do with immigration.

    The refugee crisis was created by war, and war was created by the US. The US destroyed Iraq, and you personally applauded. The US destroyed Libya, though there was a huge French hand in there (while Germany, which stayed out, got hit with the result, I bet Merkel loooved Sarkozy for that). The US financed and still supports the Jihadi “rebels” in Syria – there are no other rebels (except Kurds), the “moderates” are Jihadis in thin disguise.

    There would not have been these massive crowds of refugees if all these countries remained ruled by their legitimate regimes. Egypt thankfully dodged the bullet with the restoration of law and order in 2013, otherwise we’d have Egyptian refugees, too!

    Of course Europe is way too much under American sway in this. A mutual extradition treaty with Assad would do a lot to weed out the bad guys from the crowds. (For example, the Paris Bataclan shooters all fought against the lawful government of Syria before – they should have been extradited and people would have stayed alive). And yet it is mainly American leadership that got us here.

    Compared to this stuff your government landed on us, you just get Mexicans – who might have a friend or two in some mob, but no Jihadists there. And you already had huge incoming groups like that – all the way down to Catholicism and mobs. The Irish and the Italians. There were social trust issues all right. Then the Irish somehow ended up manning police departments to a stereotypical degree and things settled down.

    Then you got the Chinese and Japanese. You had fearful Chinatowns with the former and your government actually put the latter into full-on concentration camps. What now? “Model minority”, the worst problem seems to be a few loons shouting “Asian culture appropriation” at anime cosplayers (to the total bewilderment of actual Japanese people in Japan).

    What’s different today? But again, if you’re worried. why not let the states decide?

    • During the Obama administration, the state of Arizona decided it would increase its immigration enforcement. They didn’t redefine who was or was not an illegal immigrant, but they made it harder to hire illegals or do business with legals and increased the ways that local cops had to check for immigration status during routine arrests. None of this was contradictory to Federal immigration law, but it was contradictory to the current administrations policies, and at the end of the lawsuit were basically told that Federal law and practice in immigration completely trumps state law.

      So we can’t leave it to the states, because that is effectively not legal in the US.

      As a practical issue, leaving it to the states can have weird effects. If my state of Idaho wants to limit immigration, and California says they won’t enforce the borders, then two things happen:
      1) immigrants enter into California and then cross into Idado because there are no internal border controls within the US
      2) California’s population grows, giving them more votes in Congress and the electoral college. Long term, California’s immigration policies get enacted by the Federal Congress because California is such a large voting block. California can pay for welfare programs to support their immigration policies by appropriating tax money earned by other states.

      So if I’m from a state that would like to control immigration, I can’t afford to leave it to the states, because long term, the states that allow unlimited immigration will inevitably take over the US, quite possibly to the detriment of current US citizens.

    • There would not have been these massive crowds of refugees if all these countries remained ruled by their legitimate regimes.

      By their what?

      For example, the Paris Bataclan shooters all fought against the lawful government of Syria before – they should have been extradited

      Again, you use this word, but I don’t think it means what you think it means.

  24. > Both here and in Europe there’s been a significant spike in communicable diseases that can be traced back to low immunization rates in what Trump may or may not have called “shithole” countries.

    Interesting to note: Jordan Peterson, in one of his lectures on personality, said the research shows that the rate of communicable disease in a country positively correlates with the prevalence of authoritarian sentiment among the population.

    The theory is that conscientiousness (and more specifically orderliness), the trait that (among other things) most underlies authoritarian sentiment, is tied to our disgust sensitivity, which a defense mechanism against the spread of disease.

  25. The rust-belt steelworker’s livelihood hasn’t been exported for lower labor costs, it’s been exported for a vastly less onerous regulatory environment, not to mention tax savings.

    If politicians were able to dial down their hamfisted and greedy interference in the economy, the USA could be the #1 manufacturing choice again overnight. Abolish the IRS, restrict government to constitutional powers only, and we could see 20%+ growth rates for generations.

  26. Regarding the downsides: they are far more damaging than a bunch of gangs roaming around. My church started a sex slave rehabilitation center in Manassas, VA. There are too many illegal immigrant males in the area that cannot find women. The result is an insane level of prostitution and dramatic increase in addiction rates. Narcotics are the primary method in which they force young women into this. The narcotics spill over into the community. Add in exposure to disease with the locals and all the money….and it spirals downward. Consider how corrupting the local police force to protect these brothels and how public trust drops. You get the idea.

  27. An under-discussed issue is the under-measured demographic dimension of illegal immigration, particular versus earlier eras.

    Early immigration tended to mix Irish, Italian, Balkin, Asian… many language groups, regions, and religions into the so-called “melting pot” heated in unforgiving schools.

    At present, it seems to be taken for granted that an “immigrant” is from Mexico, or possible El Salvador or Guatamala. Spanish speaking, Catholic, brown … And to object to their movements is to be racist, religiously intolerant, and perhaps an Anglo-Chauvinist. We have privileged those who arrive as pedestrians while restricting the movement of those who must come by boat or air.

    It is so rare to see a discussion about what portion of “illegal immigrants” have, for instance, over stayed tourist visas, or student visas, or H1B work visas, or other forms of rule breaking via expired permissions that I generally infer those problems are statistically negligible. If it is so that the vast bulk of the persons now undocumented never had valid documents in the first place, that should be called out.

    I hear a DACA recipient on the NPR bragging about her high position in the Bernie Sanders campaign … imagine a Russian National, in the US without documentation, bragging about serving the Jeb Bush campaign… She says DACA will be an issue that LATINO voters will carry into the 2018 election. So, the legally voting communities who originated from VietNam or Iran have no say?

    • It is so rare to see a discussion about what portion of “illegal immigrants” have, for instance, over stayed tourist visas, or student visas, or H1B work visas, or other forms of rule breaking via expired permissions that I generally infer those problems are statistically negligible.

      On the contrary visa overstayers make up somewhere between 1/3 and 1/2 of all illegal immigrants.

  28. > how I reconcile border controls with my libertarian principles

    I have started using the phrase “national libertarian” as a very rough way of reconciling them. Within the nation, libertarian; but no requirement for it across national borders. Immigrants should assimilate to that sentiment or something similar; otherwise, libertarian principles within the nation get out-voted.

    • Ha, I’ve been using “libertarian nationalist.”

      Regarding the disease issue mentioned upthread, about six years ago I got sick and the doctor ordered a chest X-ray for tuberculosis. I said: “Really? Is that a possibility?” He explained that TB was “epidemic” in San Francisco, due to illegal aliens. Once I got cleared, I was given a wallet card to prove that I did not have TB, thus proving that the problem is large enough that they have an official city TB card program to deal with it.

  29. Just a comment about libertarianism and immigration: I tend to adhere to my libertarianism up to the water’s edge, much like we used to keep our politics (in theory). While I may think it’d be beneficial to the world at large, different experiences and customs and norms may well make that a non-starter.

    If that makes this something other than libertarianism, well, screw the label then, and so be it. Perhaps libertarianism-[unfettered immigration].

    • This is nothing compared to alleged libertarians supporting military meddling abroad. The label does not seem to mean much lately,

    • Modern operating systems require as an almost unstated dependency a functioning MMU. A society of liberty requires a similar substrate (“civic virtue” probably covers most of it) that most of the world has never possessed and that in the West has been deliberately dismantled over the last century.

    • We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, but only if they happen to have been born on one side of an arbitrary and shifting line on a map. Got it.

      • I don’t think that’s particularly fair. I believe all men are endowed with their Creator with certain unalienable rights, but neither as a matter of theory nor as a matter of practice is it within either my power or my culture’s power to enforce that on foreign cultures.

        Note I mean that entirely practically, without reference to whether we’d be justified in some sort of forcing. It is simply not within my power, or my culture’s power, to force the entire world to recognize rights they don’t want to recognize. Philosophies that obligate me to actions that are completely out of my power are not philosophies I can live with on a day-to-day basis.

        • …but neither as a matter of theory nor as a matter of practice is it within either my power or my culture’s power to enforce that on foreign cultures.

          Not in the short run, but it certainly *could* be done in the long run if enough of us actually believed it was true.

        • For a parallel, consider that the preamble of the Constitution is the most important part. It sets out the reason why the rest of the document exists.

          We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America

  30. As our host has so eloquently stated previously, we humans are innate prediction machines. If Europe erupts into chaos and violence due to it’s leading-edge open borders policies, then a plurality of the US population is very likely to see the handwriting on the wall and react strongly in anticipatory self-defense. This reaction may take a variety of forms, from political extremism to outright rebellion. The affluence-addicted elites may arrogantly assume that these potential reactions can be effectively managed by “Government”, but that is not what the modeling tells us. More likely is that the country will split into many factions and the ensuing conflict we be like none other in history. The wealthy elites will flee immediately, leaving death and destruction in their wake.

  31. One way to respect those “flyover” people is to stop referring to yourself as a “cognitive elite”. It turns out some of those yokels are actually fully formed humans, just as clever and interesting as you are. Some of them read books.

    • Another is to start wearing ‘deplorable’ and related pejoratives as badges of honor. The self-appointed elite who sneer at folks who don’t think like them don’t care that some of them think just as well, but differently. We can know who those folks are, because they don’t seem to be able to shut up about how much smarter they are than we are or about how racist the rest of us are. If you can find someone who displays humility – personal or epistemological – even if he knows just exactly how smart he is, sort him out of the ‘aspires to rule us’ set. Since those who do aspire to rule are telling us what they think of us, and not what we actually are, and since they take themselves so very seriously, I think it’s good and right that we demonstrate how seriously we don’t take them by being ostentatiously proud of the things they find shameful.

      I’m a bitter clinger: to my guns and my religion, too.
      I like my guns; I love my wife; I worship a Jew.
      I’m an irredeemable deplorable; how ’bout you?

    • It turns out some of those yokels are actually fully formed humans, just as clever and interesting as you are

      Not in this case. ESR is far enough out on the tail of the bell curve that anyone just as clever as him is also a member of the elite and therefore not a yokel. Don’t be fooled by the cargo-cult approach to elite status generally used by the cultural elite, there are people out there significantly smarter than the bulk of the population. Not referring to them as the cognitive elite is simply lying to spare your feelings.

      • >Not in this case. ESR is far enough out on the tail of the bell curve that anyone just as clever as him is also a member of the elite and therefore not a yokel.

        While this is true, in political disputes between “yokels” and the elite I generally find myself taking the yokels’ side (there are a couple of exceptions near religion). I consider that the elite I was born and educated into has become largely, though not entirely, corrupted – poisoned by cultural Marxism, smug, entitled, lacking in proper loyalty to their nation and their civilization, behaving entirely too much like a goddamn aristocracy. This is a theme behind much of my writing.

  32. I can’t see how a hard-core anarchist libertarian can countenance the state telling someone where they are allowed to live and work. After all, you and I as individuals have no business doing this, and we would be considered criminals if we used the threat of violence to prevent someone from migrating, say, from California to Colorado. Furthermore, if the state can tell Jose where he can live and work, why can’t it do the same to you and me?

    If ethical considerations don’t sway you, how about practical considerations? The War on Immigration has been immensely destructive of American liberties. Remember when Americans could take a job without presenting papers showing that they have the government’s permission to work? When employers didn’t have to worry about going to prison if they hired somebody who didn’t have the government’s stamp of approval? When the Bill of Rights was operative all the way to the borders, and not suspended at the 100-mile mark?

    • Disarm the franchise first. Immigration is a massive threat primarily because it allows statists to stuff the ballot box by mass-importing voters.

    • I can’t see how a hard-core anarchist libertarian can countenance the state telling someone where they are allowed to live and work.

      1) Property rights says that you can’t work and live in my house if I don’t want you to (unless you have some stake in it). Why does that change when you go from “I own this land” to “We own this land” when the person who wants to move there is not part of the “we”?

      2) To a certain degree we aren’t saying “you can’t come and work here”, we are saying “here’s the criteria you must meet to come work here and here’s the line you get in to come work here”.

      3) As someone once said about Democracy, Libertarianism isn’t a suicide pact. It may work very, very well in a population raised and educated to be self sufficient, to obey laws, and to generally do the right thing. It works really badly in a population raised and educated to a culture where many laws are enforced only on outsiders, where governments handle large parts of their lives, and who are NOT raised and educated to be self-reliant. Allowing an appropriate number of such people in is reasonable. Allowing them to flood our country (as the Democrats are bent on doing, and the Republicans are only putting up token resistance to) is a REALLY bad idea.

      Disarming us in the face of this radical change in our culture is pretty good evidence about what is going on.

      • William: Yes, you have a right to say who can live and/or work on YOUR OWN personal property. You have no right to say who can live and/or work on anyone else’s property, and therefore cannot delegate any such right to anyone else, including the government.

        Or are you taking the ultra-statist position that the federal government is in fact the legitimate owner of every scrap of real estate within the country? In other words, are you so determined to keep people with the wrong genetic/cultural background out that you’re willing to utterly destroy American liberty in the process?

        Since I was commenting on what is an appropriate position for a hard-core anarchist libertarian, it’s worth noting that Rothbard argues that the government has NO legitimate property whatsoever, as everything it has was obtained, directly or indirectly, through criminal means.

        • You have no right to say who can live and/or work on anyone else’s property, and therefore cannot delegate any such right to anyone else, including the government.

          Fix the situation that they can move in and tell me what to do via the ballot box, and then we’ll talk. This is a serious problem in the United States already, as the locusts from California are seeking new hosts.

        • > Or are you taking the ultra-statist position that the
          > federal government is in fact the legitimate owner of
          > every scrap of real estate within the country?

          No.

          I’m taking the position that the *country*, not just it’s land, but the idea encapsulated by the “United States of America”, including it’s territory (to disambiguate it from “land”) is held (essentially) in trust for us, and the Federal Government is the trustee for that, just as the individual state governments do for their bits of territory–within the limits set by the federal government.

          If We The People want Our Territory run a certain way, that is Our Right and Our Responsibility.

          If we’re really upset about the way the Feds are doing something we use the levers we have to change that.

          Thus Trump.

          • Your position is not a libertarian one — it is a collectivist one. “Social contract” theories, such as you seem to be espousing, are casuistic arguments that twist logic and ethical standards to arrive at a predetermined conclusion. With respect to the specific claim you are making, show me a single person who actually, knowingly, in writing, placed their property and liberty “in trust” to the Federal Government.

            Lysander Spooner tore the social contract idea to shreds long ago:

            http://praxeology.net/LS-NT-6.htm

      • “who are NOT raised and educated to be self-reliant.”

        You are describing over 90% of the American populace here.

        You are aware, are you not, that immigrants are more prone to start and run their own businesses than native-born Americans? And some anecdotal evidence: I’ve known a number of hispanic immigrants; my impressions have been that they are mostly pretty hard-working people. One family I knew immigrated without a government permission slip. The father of that family is one of the most hard-working, self-sacrificing (for his family) people I have ever known. Both he and his wife had side businesses going in addition to their employment. I would rather have this man as a neighbor than 95% of native-born Americans. These are the people you want to imprison and deport.

    • I once lived on a private road where the neighbors each owned a piece of the street and granted each other an easement to use the road. Due to a couple incidents of petty crime, we considered putting a gate on the street so that only residents and their guests could enter.

      I’m not an an-cap, but does this help clarify how borders and anarcho-capitalism are compatible?

      • As mentioned before, you have rights over YOUR OWN land, but not over other people’s land. You have no legitimate say over whom I may permit on my property and whom I may employ.

        In particular, when ICE descends on an employer’s property looking for unauthorized immigrants, *it* is the invader, the intruder, the trespasser. Ditto when it enters an unauthorized immigrant’s domicile.

        Furthermore, from an ancap perspective, the government has no legitimate property at all, as everything it has was obtained, directly or indirectly, through criminal means. Rothbard discusses this in The Ethics of Liberty.

        • I never mentioned the government, or ICE. I’m not sure how they’re relevant.

          I’m simply mentioning an example of where private property and contract law can support the existence of borders.

          • An example that is utterly irrelevant to the immigration debate and libertarian principles. The question to which you were responding, in case you have forgotten, is how can a principled libertarian support immigration restrictions imposed by the state. It is NOT about what restrictions private property owners can place on whom they will allow on their land.

            • I have not forgotten, but let me see if I can be more transparent about my train of thought.

              Your original claim is this:
              > I can’t see how a hard-core anarchist libertarian can countenance the state telling someone where they are allowed to live and work.

              Unless I misunderstand you, I take this as trivially true, because to the hardcore anarchist libertarian, any action by the state (aside from self-dissolution) is unethical.

              If we permit that there may be some ethical actions by the state, then we have room for a fruitful discussion about whether the enforcement of borders and immigration restriction is among them. Likewise, if we simply accept both that we have a state and that we will continue to have a state as facts, we can discuss immigration control and it’s role (positive or negative) on state-induced injustice. In either case, I think we will have left the realm of Rothbard (I’m not sure though, as I have not read much of his work), and in neither case can we ignore the social trust, crime, and communicable disease issues brought up by our host.

              If, however, even if we rule out all state action (a stance I am not myself committed to) there is still a think a fruitful discussion as to whether an an-cap *society* would (or even could) restrict immigration, a question that I think is implicit to the point you make and was the one that I was addressing.

              The anarchist/libertarian ethical program is largely procedural: it does not dictate what a society should look like, only that it get there by means that do not involve the initiation of force (NAP). At least some of what you seemed to be against is immigration restriction per se, regardless of the source of that restriction.

              My point is that the need to “present papers” or otherwise have restrictions placed upon one’s movement does not go away in an an-cap society.

    • There are ways to discourage immigration and unwanted migration without deviating from the non-aggression principle. The immigration problem is much more complex than telling people when an where they can migrate; many people talk like migration is what they care about but if you listen to the root of their concerns; they are worried about the consequences of migration, not the migrating.

      I do think this is where libertarians and anarchists start to diverge, a libertarian could look at the illegal immigration issue and say “existing regulations have created perverse incentives that are encouraging systemic crime and abuse. Maybe a two-prong approach is severe fines imposed on any private citizen providing jobs to undocumented workers, and the other providing existing illegals a path to citizenship if they can self-identify, consistently maintain on the books work, demonstrate western values, and keep a clean criminal record. Could quell the toxicity of unchecked competition for local resources”

      An anarchist will have some trouble swallowing that pill because you are effectively cracking down the employers right to be a tax evaders and the illegal immigrants right to privacy. But a libertarian can say “if this is regulation we need to maintain a high trust functioning society, the government needs to punish criminal activity to maintain civil order”.

      Deep down I’m an idealistic anarchist, but individuals can’t compete against tribes/city-states/ nation-states, and you can’t take action to ensure the good of the group over the good of an individual without compromising the most idealistic forms of anarchy. A true anarchy will be conquered or assimilated by a more organized oppressive cultural force. We may not like this, but the lack of long-standing examples of stable anarchies make the case… Illegal immigration is literally a cultural invasion, and being a pacifist is only going to go smoothly if your invaders are also pacifists. Therefore in the practical discussion, I tend to lean libertarian wanting to minimize government reach, maximize, liberty, rely on game theory and market solutions to ensure a stable future for the nation.

      I’m also not sure your “remember when”‘s correspond to actual moments in history. Before there were papers we judged outsiders by how they looked and spoke, we looked after the interest of our villages (which were American interests by proxy).

      • “a libertarian could look at the illegal immigration issue and say… Maybe a two-prong approach is severe fines imposed on any private citizen providing jobs to undocumented workers, …”

        Such a person would not be a libertarian, because the proposal to impose severe fines on someone who has simply employed another is a violation of the Non-Aggression Principle.

        • The “illegal” migrant is violating property rights by being present in a region where they have no claim. Therefore they are the aggressor, and reasonable retaliation for trespass would not violate the non-aggression principle “.”

          Whether or not a migrant is “legal” is one discussion, what to do with an “illegal” migrant as another. I expect that the legality of migration might look very different in a society founded on libertarian principles, but your insane if you think “illegal” trespass on any scale could go unpunished in a society dependant on property rights. And this is what I think separates a libertarian or minarchist society from anarco-idealism.

          The employer is providing material resources to the trespasser, and therefore can also be held partially liable for damages to the community. In my view, they could only be liable if they knowingly employed an illegal migrant and there would be no reason to compel the employer to verify the legality of those in their charge. It would be easy for an employer to defend themselves from this claim, assuming their violation of statues were not blatant and egregious.

        • Because they also come here to VOTE, and their votes will be against liberty.

          You seem deliberately set on ignoring the NAP violations inherent in the ballot box.

          • “Their votes will be against liberty.”

            You mean like during World War II, when all the immigrants both legal and illegal overwhelmed the votes of nice, white Americans and forced us to surrender to Hitler?

            Oh wait! It didn’t happen that way! The illegals didn’t vote (until they became citizens) and nobody surrendered to Hitler! Maybe you’re delusional! Maybe you imagine that people who aren’t from American are such horrible, rotten and filthy enemies that they will vote against the success of the very place where they and their children have their homes!

            Before you make statements like that maybe you should stop and… I don’t know… think things through, or something.

            And no. I don’t want illegals voting either, mainly because it isn’t fair to our citizens, but to imagine that they will automatically vote in a fashion which is directly harmful to you when they live here too… it’s remarkably thoughtless.

            • > I don’t want illegals voting either, mainly because it isn’t fair to our citizens…

              In light of that, which of these measures intending to ensure the integrity of the vote would you support or not, and why or why not?

              * Requiring proof of identity and citizenship at polling places in order to vote.
              * Requiring proof of identify and citizenship in order to register to vote.
              * Regular auditing of the voter registration rolls to ensure they are current, accurate, and contain only living eligible citizens.
              * Steep fines and criminal penalties for voting, attempting to vote, registering, or attempting to register to vote when not eligible to do so (this would equally cover illegal and legal immigrants both, as well as ineligible citizens, such as felons).

              IMO, all of these are reasonable. On that last one, however, I think reasonable people could disagree what constituted fair criminal penalties.

              But when I see things like this proposed, I see the news media, Democrats, and others decrying such measures as racist voter suppression. The devil is always in the details, but when I see ID checks or roll audits equated to the voting tests use prevent blacks from voting in the post-Civil-War south, that doesn’t inspire confidence that the left is arguing in good faith. I took one of those voting tests in my high school class on US government. I remember just how hard that test was engineered to be. Requiring all people showing up to vote to prove they are whom they claim to be, regardless of their skin color, is hardly equivalent.

              • I strongly disagree. The media have redefined “undocumented” as a
                synonym for “illegal alien,” perhaps to define out of existence the
                far larger number of US citizens who don’t have the papers to get the
                papers. The Washington Post estimates that there are at least 450,000
                US citizens who don’t have and can’t get identity documents in
                Virginia alone. I find this plausible, as I came very close to this
                condition myself, and was able to get ID only because a clerk at
                my high school was willing to lie for me. (To get ID, I needed a
                transcript from my high school, but to get the transcript I needed ID.
                Upon my explaining this, the clerk said she remembered me from when
                I was enrolled there. But I’m sure she hadn’t been born yet when I
                graduated.) And it’s not as if I had been born in the woods and
                raised by wolves. My circumstances were not unusual.
                —–
                Those who want to disenfranchise those without “papers, please” are
                indeed much like those who used tests to disenfranchise blacks in that
                their goal is to keep those likely to vote for the “wrong” candidates
                from voting. This isn’t necessarily a leftist thing, and even if it
                was, so what? Wrecking democracy to make sure the “correct” party
                wins brings the US down the level of the late unlamented Soviet Union.
                —–
                I strongly oppose disenfranchisement of “felons,” even when we’re
                still in prison. Even if many of us hadn’t been falsely convicted,
                criminals are citizens too. If, for instance, the majority of
                Virginians thought marijuana should be legalized, then it should
                be, even if many of those who thought that had been convicted of
                possessing marijuana. (If the majority of Americans ever were to
                favor legalizing a serious crime such as rape, then our society
                would be doomed regardless of voting laws.) Having large numbers
                of people permanently forbidden from voting in a society is very
                damaging to that society, as the disenfranchised don’t feel invested
                in their society. I know this from firsthand experience, as I was
                “permanently” disenfranchised for 39 of the past 41 years, nearly the
                whole of my adult life so far.
                —–
                I think non-citizens should refrain from voting, but I don’t think that
                if they do vote it should be considered a serious crime, especially not
                if they’ve lived in the US for a while. Nobody seems to get upset when
                someone votes in a US state’s election just weeks after they moved to
                that state from a very different state. Non-trivial punishments for
                voting risk deterring legitimate voters. I was almost deterred in 2016
                when, after the governor restored everyone’s voting rights, I got a letter
                from the state warning me that the restoration was invalid and that if I
                were to attempt to vote I would be imprisoned for several years.
                ——
                There was also a recent case in which someone was sentence to several
                years in prison for voting because she mistakenly thought she was a
                US citizen. Can you really be certain you’re one? If you think you
                were born here, perhaps babies got swapped in the hospital, the other
                baby being the child of a foreign diplomat. If you think you were
                naturalized, that is retroactively invalid if they ever mistakenly
                think any of your answers on the naturalization forms were dishonest.
                ——
                Nothing in the above precludes severe penalties for attempting to
                subvert an election by voting multiple times, stuffing ballot boxes,
                destroying ballots, or placing malware in voting machines.
                ——
                As for the alleged Russian interference in the 2016 election, I don’t
                think it’s a serious offense if it consisted entirely of propaganda
                rather than of placing malware in voting machines, even if the propaganda
                was dishonest. If dishonest propaganda was a crime, then both major
                party candidates in every presidential election in my lifetime would
                be guilty of it.

              • The problem here is that even the most careful examinations of the problem have not discovered illegal voting at the kind of scale necessary to overturn an election for dog-catcher, much less a major office. As far as any examination of the facts can tell, it simply hasn’t happened.

                That being the case, why make a law to solve a non-existent problem? Note that all the people who are demanding these kinds of laws are from the party which is experiencing demographic difficulties. Their motivations are both obvious and shady.

                • “The problem here is that even the most careful examinations of the problem have not discovered illegal voting at the kind of scale necessary to overturn an election for dog-catcher, much less a major office.”

                  As an internet grammar Nazi I feel compelled to suggest this confounds voting by illegals and illegal voting. There has been ample illegal voting at the kind of scale necessary to overturn an election for major office. This during my lifetime from the days of Landslide Lyndon Johnson through many years of personal observation in Chicago and other places.

                  The fact, and it is a fact, of illegal voting may influence that is increase concern about illegals voting.

                  It is an open question whether the outcome in the election for Governor in Washington state in 2004 was in fact overturned. It is pretty well accepted that there were enough votes cast improperly that depending on the distribution of such votes illegals voting may or may not have determined the outcome. That is the number of illegal voters, determined by post election examination of the rolls, exceeded the winning margin by a significant number. Then again the provisional ballot exists because voting roll issues are uncertain. Like the Chicago vote in the 1960 presidential election folks let the matter drop.

                  The 2004 Washington gubernatorial election on November 2, 2004 gained national attention for its legal twists and extremely close finish. In what was notable for being among the closest political races in United States election history, Republican Dino Rossi was declared the winner in the initial automated count and again in the subsequent automated recount. It wasn’t until after the third count, a second recount done by hand, that Christine Gregoire, a Democrat, took the lead by a margin of 129 votes.
                  Although Gregoire was sworn in as Governor of Washington on January 12, 2005, Rossi did not formally concede and called for a re-vote over concerns about the integrity of the election. The Republican Party filed a lawsuit in Chelan County Superior Court contesting the election, but the trial judge ruled against it, citing lack of evidence of deliberate electoral sabotage.[1] Rossi chose not to appeal to the Washington State Supreme Court, formally conceding the election on June 6, 2005. Wikipedia retrieved 3/6/2018

        • The operative word is “illegal”. Whether or not a migrant should be considered illegal is one discussion, what to do about an illegal migrant is another.

          The idea of private property is core to a lot of libertarian thinking and if the people have issued you notice that you cannot work or tress pass in a region without permission, your very presence is an aggression against the local property rights. Anyone who knowingly employees you is providing material resources to the trespass; we could reframe the “fine” as a liability for damages on part of the employer or the employee. For the employer note that my operative word was “knowingly”, you would not hold them accountable for being lied to and nothing in my comment says we would compel the employer to ask.

          But as I was pointing out, the “fine” could not be reconciled with Anarcho-capitalism and many libertarians are more devoted to the former than the latter. If illegal immigration causes an objective harm, you can forcibly respond to it… the non-aggression principle is different from pacifism.

          • The above reply is a double post due to a technical issue…. disregard this one, other one is above it.

  33. (…) regardless of how you feel about government, high trust is a valuable kind of property for a society to have, and an ethically correct thing for it to defend.

    The way I myself found to accommodate insights similar to yours was to look beyond the trichotomy Progressism vs. (American-style) Conservatism vs. Libertarianism into what, for me, is a more complete model of economic and social interaction. I refer to an European style of pro-labor, pro-local, pro-private property conservatism you might have heard about, Distributism.

    In Distributist thinking this kind of decision making is formalized and easy to work with. Human existence is understood as neither purely individualistic — as if humans were atoms that in shocking with each other cause social interactions to appear epiphenomenally –, nor a result of abstract social forces interacting and making people act this or that way with individuals as such being an illusory error. Rather, in it human beings are understood as being, each and every one, part of several different layers and modes of social interaction, from the “purely individual” up to the “society as a whole”, passing through a whole set of intermediary ones such as one’s family, church, local community etc. These are considered all real and not collapsible into any of the other ones, so that it isn’t possible to “reduce” them into either the “purely individual” one, as Libertarians do, nor into the “society as a whole” one, as Socialists do. Rather, they all must be taken as such and dealt with as such.

    From that perspective it’s easy to notice the layer you found to be a middle one, and one requiring its own analytical framework. Libertarianism doesn’t provide it, as all it can do is to pretend upper layers are subject to individual decisions, which isn’t enough. Socialism also doesn’t, as all it can do is to treat the multiple layers from the perspective of abstract non-starters such as “Racism!”, “Oppression!”, “Patriarchy!” and other such weirdly distorted platonic ideals.

    If you have the time for it, I’d suggest reading Hillaire Belloc’s “The Servile State”, one of Distributism’s foundational texts (Belloc and G. K. Chesterton were its main thinkers). The first part is pretty good, as it explains what, exactly, Distributism considers wrong in both proto-Libertarian (Classic Liberal) and Socialist thinking and how, in the end, despite their immense differences, they’re in fact two sides of the same centralist coin. The second part not so much, as its predictions are by now dated even if interesting if we look at them as “alternate history”.

    Hayek liked the book a lot and used it as one of his references in writing “The Road to Serfdom”. He thought Belloc’s proposals unworkable in practice, but his historical analysis no less engaging due to that. So, if you’d like a further reason to give the book a look, there you have one. :-)

    PS.: There’s a ton of Libertarian criticism of Distributist views. The Mises Institute website has several articles in that vein. They are all correct from the perspective of economic efficiency, as Distributism is in fact economically less efficient and acknowledges that much. But Distributism also isn’t concerned with that side of the problem. It’s criteria are different and deal precisely with things such as your notion of “high trust”, something Libertarian praxeological analysis doesn’t deal very well with.

    • Belloc was a genius, but I am not sure I want to have anything to do with the people you can find in Distributist circles today. They tend to be those kind of Catholics who crave liberal approval. Finding excuses for blessing gay couples and all that. Thus, while being in theory a third way, in practice they tend to sing too much from the corporations-are-evil booklet, often undistinguishable from the average lib.

      To be fair, Libertarian analysis can deal with trust – as a transaction cost. Asking friends to recommend a plumber, negotiating for weeks on contract details to cover your butt against all possible abuses, taking a used car to a mechanic friend to go through it really thoroughly before you buy it are all transaction costs. It predicts a few ways of solving it, such as third-party trust handlers, effectively trustworthy people who can certify others for being trustworthy, or the theory of the firm, basically large corporations, because the difference between having an internal IT department vs. outsourcing it to an external IT company is largely trust. When low trust, better internally. Libertarian theory also predicts low trust means a more DIY attitude, less specialization, less division of labor, hence less wealth, but perhaps more well-rounded people.

      I seriously think Distribust theory has a lot to recommend to it, but it does not seem to apply to trust issues. What it seems to apply to most is the alienation experienced in modern capitalism – that if there are 50 shoe stores in a city, organized into 5 competing corporations owning 10 each, it would be better if it was rather 50 family business organized into 5 competing guilds. There would be a more intimate relationship between the worker and the work. This has little to do with the customer believing or not believing that the shoe won’t fall apart in a month. To be fair he may trust the large corporation better as the brand name can act as quality assurance. Of course, the guild’s brand could do the same, too.

      • Belloc was a genius, but I am not sure I want to have anything to do with the people you can find in Distributist circles today.

        I’m of the opinion it’d be a good idea to take Distributism and remove the religious elements from it and refounding it on more solid psycho-sociological basis. IMHO, the end result would be much stronger than the original.

        Now, I disagree with your assessment of their political affiliations. See, the fact a libertarian notices more their criticisms of corporations and less their criticisms of centralized government, or that a conservative notices more their criticism of moralism and less their criticism of deviant behavior, or that liberals perceive more their defense of traditional morality and their criticism of government, come from the fact that people don’t find remarkable when they listen to political and economic opinions that seem to them obvious, while those opinions that don’t match theirs are strongly perceived.

        This is similar, I think, to how when one receives a criticism, that single criticism registers, subjectively, as much stronger than a compliment that said the exact same thing with a minus sign. Our psyche is built so as to notice divergence as threatening and to react strongly to it. Avoiding that bias is difficult and requires continual objective self-assessment.

        Myself, I take the Distributist view as the default and the others as the ones that are more or less correct. As such, I view standard Conservatism, Libertarianism and Liberalism as specific deviations from my own “obvious” take. This provides some interesting insights, specially in how I don’t find any of these currents that much different from each other.

        Case in point: from my perspective all the sides defended, opposed, and referred to in comments to this post and to the previous one look like variations of Platonic idealism. One side defends the ideal archetype Freedom as above the concrete interests and reality of the real, concrete individuals Ana, Bob, Carl, Doug etc. Another side defends the ideal archetype Non-Violence as above the concrete interests and reality of the real, concrete individual Ana, Bob, Carl, Doug etc. A third side defends the ideal archetype The Rights of The People above the concrete interests and reality… you get the idea.

        Myself, I don’t care about any of that. I look at all of that from an Aristotlean position, referring to the real Ana that lives in the that neighborhood of that city, earns so much, has these difficulties, those joys, became ill when she was so many years old, got over that, managed this and that etc., and I think what would concretely benefit her, personally. Ditto for that real Bob over there. And this Carl over here. And Doug, that Doug there. And so on and so forth, trying to build a bottom-up understanding of things rather than following the easier and much more error prone top-down approach most everyone else prefers.

        That concreteness is what, for me, places Distributism apart from the other political-economic schools of thought. And it’s what stands at the root of the also concrete policies it defends on any specific subject, Catholic absolutists among its own ranks notwithstanding.

        In regards to trust then, what you describe is quite sound on a practical level, but I think it is built upon a different take about the meaning of the word. The Libertarian approach seems to be as a set of more or less practical solutions for the case in which trust, as a relationship between individuals, isn’t there anymore, or is so removed that something else has to be adopted into its place. And since that something else is replacing actual trust, it gets named trust. But they aren’t the same thing.

        A society of trust is one in which you know the shoemaker you asked to make you a pair of shoes will do his best, and you’re assured of it because you both shook hands and looked into each others eyes, and that’s enough. The quality of the shoes he makes you will be that of the materials you both agreed to use, plus his best efforts. If it were something much more complex, sure, a contract would be signed, but not so as to cover each other from the perceived potential untrustworthiness of each other, but because a complex project is such that keeping everything in memory and in the form of oral agreements would lead those involved to a misalignment of expectations due to their memories not being perfect. And so on and so forth, trust thus being the starting point of all economic interactions, and not, as in those alternative (nowadays default) solutions, its presumed absence.

        So a Distributist would look at the problem and ask how we can begin to rebuild trust, the real one, so as to minimize the need for the alternative not-really-trust-based solutions, and move forward from there. With, yes, an eye into that aspect of promoting well-roundedness, which is to say, promoting character, and character in turn producing the remaining, including the belief, in the customer, that the shoe won’t fall apart precisely because he knows the shoemaker is at least as virtuous as he himself is.

        • And the Platonic Ideal of Distributism, judging by your last two passages, is Trust.
          Also Aristotle believed in the Platonic Ideals, he merely just believed that rather than the Platonic Ideals being in an external reality, with material objects and ideas being imprints of those ideals, that the Platonic Ideals are contained within those material objects and ideas. Still a Platonic Ideal though.

        • The particular weakness of Distributist theory is how to get from here to there. Libertarians, Socialists etc. all know what kind of legislation they want to make, or want to remove. Distribust theory is far less clear about that. Mandatory guild membership and guild rules, like price floors? But monopolistic guilds or competing guilds? If competing guilds, is there a minimum size? If businessmen who want largely libertarian rules, just make themselves a guild, that has no internal rules and no price floors? And pretty sure they will outcompete the others. I mean if they wouldn’t then you could just expect a Distributist outcome from Libertarian legislation.

          On the other hand monopolistic guilds are clearly bad, they exist today, like doctors or lawyers, and that is why a nurse is not allowed to do basic things, only a doctor, they restrict supply to bid up the price.

          How to deal with innovation, I mean, with the lack of incentive to do so? Presumably if you have competing guilds then an innovation by a guild member can be used by all guild members but they have to pay a royalty. Maybe. But it is not clear.

          It is the lack of a clear roadmap and preferred regulatory environment that makes D. currently not much more than just an ideal.

          You know, I am a great believer in wu-wei. Any legislation that has to be forced on a society is probably a bad idea. A government should cut with the grain of local culture, not against it. It is something similar to libertarianism, just less dogmatic, for a libertarian banning anything that is not force and fraud a bad idea, while for wu-wei, cutting with the grain, it depends on how much the local culture likes or hates that thing. Every law should be a more formal expression of a common sense judgement most Average Joes have. Clearly D. as an outcome is cutting with the grain, nearly everybody dreams of opening their own business one day, not climbing the corporate lader. But what kind of legislation would make it happen that would also cut with the grain and not create rules that feel nonsensical, artificial and make people try to game them?

  34. One opinion I’ve always had on immigration is that it should be hard to get in illegally and easy to get in legally. So yeah, have a border wall, but also have really high legal immigration quotas. That way, you encourage people to immigrate legally. My understanding is that drug smugglers tend to use illegal immigrants as a labor pool: “I can help you get into the US if you’ll carry this package for me”. If immigrants can get in legally without difficulty and risk a lot trying to get in illegally, that labor pool dries up, and, having more to lose, and not having gotten a start in crime crossing the border, immigrants are less likely to commit crimes once in the country.

  35. > I’m sure I’ll be asked how I reconcile border controls with my libertarian principles.

    The pains which excessive immigration causes are externalities and libertarian doctrine advocates against those.

  36. Brexit, and Trump’s election, slapped me upside the head.

    Eric, I feel the need to point out something that may have been obscured by the fanatical snow jobs in parts of the British media over the last couple of years. Namely, that while Brexit and Trump are both populist reactions against arrogant elites, in some important ways they are very different.

    The intellectual horsepower behind Brexit (and, as far as I can tell, a major part of the popular support) is gung-ho for freer trade, not Trump-style mercantilism. (Some of the more ardent Brexiteers, like Rees-Mogg, are even saying (rightly) that unilateral free trade should be on the table.)

    Moreover, while the immigration issue is… mixed, again the rhetoric has been less about “pull up the drawbridge” and more about replacing the current Eastern Europæan immigration (and Muslims, they’re a hot-button issue, especially after Rotherham) with more skilled workers from the Commonwealth.

    Britons in economically depressed areas are still seeing enough of the proceeds of globalisation that they aren’t reacting against it in the way that the Rust Belters are. Instead they’re reacting against the distant, self-entitled elites; crony capitalism; Davos Man. (Well, that and being told what to do by the French, which never goes down well.)

    Brexit is a cosmopolitan project that’s being painted by its opponents as knuckle-dragging nativism. Don’t fall for the big lie.

    • > Instead they’re reacting against the distant, self-entitled elites; crony capitalism; Davos Man. (Well, that and being told what to do by the French, which never goes down well.)

      That’s the important commonality I see – a revolt against self-congratulatory elites who have largely ceased to exhibit either competence or any loyalty to the people they come from.

      If you try to tell me the Rotherham horror – and the coverup of it by PC authorities – isn’t at the enotional bottom of Brexit, I won’t believe you. That is quite as it should be.

      • It sounds like we’re in violent agreement. The connection between the two is on the meta, rather than the object, level.

      • This is why the state is losing legitimacy. William S Lind has written about 4th generation (guerilla) war. It happens mainly when the state just doens’t work and lacks legitimacy. It isn’t so much “the people they come from” but common decency, the rule of (natural) law, and reason.

  37. Sorry this is OT: but since you posted about guns a few days ago:

    If go to the shopping tab on Google and put in AR-15 or “AR 15” (or a least a dozen gun manufactures and models) nothing comes up. Bing seems to have the same “issue”, via the Shopping tab.

    Google’s trust is going to erode quickly if they continue to take sides publicly. They are ripe for disruption.

    • Right you are; as a control, I tried 1911 after AR-15 and got a healthy and fairly similar set of results from Bing and the Goolag.

      As for “Google’s trust”, anyone who paid attention to the Damore affair knows it’s pretty far along in the process of social justice convergence, and is working to end their dependencies on the company unless they’re SJWs themselves. Pity Apple’s software quality is getting so bad….

      • I won’t post any more on this topic (trying not to hijack the lively discussion on going), and if another thread popups up because of it we can continue there.

        1 – most people are not paying attention to how converged Google is.This type of gamesmanship with results will quickly expose them to at least the gun buying public.

        2 – interesting results for me via the shopping tab:

        “Beretta M 92 FS” – nothing
        “M 92 FS” – stuff
        “Beretta Px4 Storm” – nothing
        “Px4 Storm” – stuff

        they are keying on the manufacturers name.

        • Google’s shopping tab has also blacklisted Shogunate, Gundam, Gunther, and Guns’N’Roses. That last one in particular seems likely to get a lot of people going “WTF!??”

  38. The Libertarian, min-anarchistic ideal to which I also wish to subscribe isn’t a complete account in the face of asymmetries. Our political enemies and even the rest of the world is not reciprocating but rather leveraging the feigning of ideological idealism whilst further the asymmetries of their power. In short, Coasian costs exist, so thus theory of the firm still exists. And bad morale destroys a firm.

    I think it’s too late to rescue the USA from separatism though. Will explain why on the previous blog. We’re moving towards a breakup into smaller political entities with a NWO of global order to replace the power vacuum that will ensue as the USA fragments.

    • Oh and I don’t think all the elites are blind. I think they know very well their goal is sow fragmentation of the nation-states to bring about the necessary power vacuum that can move us to a global order.

  39. Several years ago, I saw a comment by a professional analyst of public opinion. He wrote that he he had never seen a greater divergence between elite opinion and general public opinion than the current split on immigration.

    There has been much chatter about a “Second Civil War”, much of which is merely silly.

    But then I had a realization. The Civil War happened because a dominant plurality in a large part of the country thought that a President who was anti-slavery was an existential threat to them. (Specifically, in the Deep South, where slaves were half the population, they feared that Lincoln would incite slave rebellion, or at minimum undermine the “solid front” of whites again rebellion, and thus bring down the whole system.) Lincoln disclaimed any such intentions. But the Southerners saw him as a wink-and-a-nod accomplice of “abolition fiends” like John Brown, who would ignore constitutional restraints and even the opposition of Congress (where Republicans were only a plurality) to attack the South by executive actions.

    Suppose a President was elected now who was all-but-openly committed to the “open borders” agenda of the Left, who clearly intends to shut down immigration enforcement by presidential fiat, and who also would use Federal authority to suppress any state or local resistance to mass immigration.

    “Revisionist Zionist” Ze’ev Jabotinsky had a warning for the mainstream “Labor Zionists”, who expected to take over Palestine by peaceful immigration. He noted that no people in history had ever peacefully consented to the occupation of their country by foreigners. Therefore the Zionist goal of a Jewish homeland in Palestine would have to be achieved by force.

    Americans will fight too, when the issue becomes plain.

    (Alternatively, suppose a President is elected who is determined to enforce immigration law strictly, granting no amnesties and deporting all illegals. There might be armed resistance in some immigrant-heavy regions, abetted by elites with a severe case of “Ellis Island nostalgia” and control of some state and local governments.)

    • So are we conservatives to purge the liberal members of our relatives? Shall I shoot my 70 year old mother because she voted for Obama and Bernie Sanders? How does a country fight a cancer from within?

      I think it’s more likely that States and communities attempt to defy the Feds, e.g. the California nullification brewing, and we enter into separatism with endless cultural war as the country declines economically. And the fighting will likely be splintered because for example even the gun rights defenders don’t agree on social issues. As the economy turns down, the incentive to find compromise declines. Compromise for what? So one can continue to not have a job?

      • “How does a country fight a cancer from within?”

        The root of the cancer is that we live in an era of extraordinary affluence in which real hardship has essentially become extinct. The loss of this fundamental evolutionary driver is at the heart of our decay as a species, and hence all of the other dysfunctions that are now becoming apparent. This will persist until the environment changes or our growing weaknesses result in a Spanish flu type population collapse.

        In other words, this problem can’t be solved by focusing on a few bad actors, but rather by seeking out or creating an alternative environment that reestablishes the original evolutionary fitness mechanism.

      • I can’t speak for anyone else, but I’d say ‘of course not.’ I can neither confirm nor deny the existence of a target selection process, but I decided a long time ago, when I was deciding on my approach to simple armed self-defense, that there were folks I didn’t ever want to hurt, and if I had to try to hurt in my own defense, would thereafter try my very best to keep alive. Those folks are either my family, by blood or marriage, or my wife’s, by blood or marriage, out to a certain degree of affinity or consanguinity. I don’t ever want to hurt an aunt or uncle or cousin of mine or hers, or a blood cousin’s spouse (either mine or hers) or children, though I’d make exceptions for folks who marry into the family but then turn out to be trash or scoundrels or unfaithful.
        There are other folks – friends who weren’t family – that I once considered family but now are scarcely even friends. I’m of two minds on them. It’s painful enough to lose them, but they are very vocally trying undermine our liberties, so I may yet have to let them go and then harden my heart enough that if they came under my hand, I could resort to violence if need be. It is hard enough to lose them. To do more is harder still, though they have been ostentatiously base and ugly of late.

  40. Indian engineers.

    It used to be that the strategy of importing large numbers of indian engineers would bite the company in the ass, because they just were not very good. For example Informix expired because after indianizing its workforce, it just could not ship something that worked.

    No matter how cheap a not very good engineer is, he is still likely to contribute negative value to the company, and Silicon Valley companies would import huge numbers of not very good engineers, with extremely bad results.

    Trump proceeded to hold a gun to their heads, telling them they could only import truly exceptional Indian engineers.

    And something very odd happened. It turned out that there were in fact quite a lot of very good Indian engineers. Which some might say is not all that odd. But what really is odd is that Silicon Valley is profoundly disappointed that they are reluctantly forced to import really good Indian Engineers.

    Seems to me that the indianization program was not primarily motivated by cheap labor, but by low status labor, that it was an effort to lower the status of engineers even if it had the effect, as at informix, of running the company into the ground

    • I think this is the primary motivation of all immigration. Basically expanding the status pyramid downward as a way of relatively raising your rank when you’re already at or near the top. End result seems to be motivated by envy of the caste system. Brahmins and untouchables seem like good castes, but why bother having any vaisyas around? Especially now when they can easily get richer than brahmin.

    • >But what really is odd is that Silicon Valley is profoundly disappointed that they are reluctantly forced to import really good Indian Engineers.

      As far as I can tell, big-tech only wants a couple world-class (and highly paid) engineers on a project. The rest should be cheap/adequate worker bees.

    • It’s a threat against the engineer who is an American citizen. “We will hire cheap Indian labor if you don’t accede to our salary demands.”

      As to the leaders of large corporations, they already consider us peasants. If you don’t believe it, ask an HR person about “dead peasants insurance.”

  41. Pingback: Immigration | Forks and Hope

  42. I’m puzzled by your implicit claim that immigrants are less
    trustworthy than people born in the US. That’s not my experience.
    The evil roommate who got me convicted of his crime spree 41 years ago
    was not an immigrant. Neither were the police nor my court-appointed
    attorney whose lies contributed to my conviction. As an out-of-the-
    closet wrongly convicted person, many have confided in me that similar
    or worse things have happened to them. You know at least one of them
    besides me. The most important thing *not* taught in schools is to
    *never* trust or talk to the government, especially not the police.
    I believe that most individuals of every nationality are honest,
    but that many corporations and nearly all governments are dishonest.
    —–
    I’m also surprised by your implicit claim that the jobs problem is
    only with unskilled or blue-collar people. Most of the people I know
    have STEM or professional degrees and clean records, but about a third
    of them are unemployed and another third are severely underemployed,
    e.g. a lawyer who walks dogs for a living. The official statistics
    aren’t even self-consistent, since they claim that unemployment is
    around 4%, that fewer than a third of working-age Americans have
    degrees, and that the majority of Americans with jobs have degrees.
    Ask any recruiter, and they’ll tell you that anyone who has been
    out of work for more than six months will probably never work again,
    regardless of experience or credentials.
    —–
    I’m skeptical of the idea that the golden age of American jobs was
    only after WWII. My grandfather earned $900 as a meat cutter in 1939,
    the equivalent of $16,000 today if you believe the official inflation
    numbers (which I don’t), and he owned a large house free and clear
    which he had bought with cash five years earlier, and he was
    comfortably supporting five dependents.
    —–
    The Washington Times says illegal immigrants have a higher crime
    rate than native-born Americans? The Washington Post says illegal
    immigrants have a *lower* crime rate than native-born Americans.
    I have no idea which source to believe.
    —–
    MS-13 was a large presence at my previous apartment complex. Unlike
    the government, if you leave them alone they’ll leave you alone.
    Americans have much more to fear from our government than from
    criminals and terrorists, foreign and domestic.

    • > I’m puzzled by your implicit claim that immigrants are less trustworthy than people born in the US.

      You’ve missed the point. “Low trust societies” does not necessarily mean untrustworthy people.

      Also, you go on to exhibit a false argument that I call “My anecdote about this outlier means that the bell curve of the data does not exist.” That may not be a fair assessment of your argument. It is also possible that your false argument could be better understood as “This right-outlier of curve A and left-outlier of curve B prove that curves A and B don’t exist.”

      Those two false arguments are ubiquitous in every discussion of group traits on the internet, but won’t get much traction here.

      But that’s really secondary, because as I said, the central point isn’t what you think it is.

        • ignorance, prejudice, and bias, just for three? and the alienation that comes with urbanization, for a fourth. that one may be the most insidious, in the long run. be your neighbor never so trustworthy, you won’t trust them unless you know them enough to gauge their trustworthiness, and so many things can get in the way of that process.

          • Nay to the first three. They are mostly liberal myths. People are shrewd enough when it comes to their own interests, the vast majority of prejudice is based on real experiences. They will not refuse to trade unless there is evidence that an individual or person group tends to be untrustworthy.

            Cities have a lot of way to solve it. Your neighbors go to the same neighborhood church. If they fuck you over the pastor will preach them out and they lose an immense amount of face. Neighbors need help from each other so they need to prove themselves trustworthy.

            • How does that work in a society like Australia where almost nobody goes to church? there are very few such collective mechanisms here. Maybe that’s what gives Twitter its exaggerated impetus.

              I’m with Nomen on this one. Too many conservatives/libertarians/whatever discount the power of prejudice and bias. The desire to enforce lower status on those allocated to a lowly role is very strong in many people.

      • Sorry I didn’t express my argument well. Yes, there was a personal
        anecdote, but my conclusions about the untrustworthiness of the police
        and the criminal justice system come almost entirely from decades of
        extensive reading. And most of my reading is of *defenders* of the
        system, as I go out of my way to avoid confirmation bias. Also,
        if I do have any bias, it’s in the other direction, as I’d love to
        believe that what happened to me was a freak one-off event, never
        likely to happen again to me or to anyone I know.
        —–
        Unfortunately, I can’t bring myself to believe that, as all the
        evidence is overwhelmingly against it. For instance textbooks
        intended to train police in interrogation, which tell them exactly
        how to lie to take advantage of suspects so naive that they still
        trust the cops.
        —–
        There are also countless news reports about cops caught lying under
        oath, planting evidence, rewarding potential prosecution witnesses,
        threatening potential defense witnesses, etc.
        —–
        Fortunately, our society is finally becoming a “low trust society,”
        at least when it comes to cops and the government. The police and
        local governments are of course aware of this, and are desperately
        trying to reverse this trend by having Officer Friendly come to
        classrooms and give out candy and toys. Of course I think this is
        a very bad idea.
        —–
        As for why trustworthy people might be widely mistrusted, it’s largely
        because the government maintains a monopoly on reputation. No matter
        how much you trust me, if you were to sell me a gun or hire me for
        certain jobs you’d go to prison, as you’re not allowed to disagree
        with the government’s evaluation of me, despite my having a perfectly
        clean record before and after that incident 41 years ago, and my
        never having had any of the common correlates of criminality (lying,
        cheating, violence, smoking, drinking, drug use, tattoos, gambling,
        low grades in school, dropping out of school, debts, promiscuity,
        never keeping a job for long, etc.).

    • > I’m puzzled by your implicit claim that immigrants are less
      trustworthy than people born in the US.

      The statistic is apparently for illegal immigrants, not immigrants in general.

      Assuming the statistic is accurate, is it because they feel no investment and representation in this society which hasn’t accepted them legally? Is it because they’ve got a more risk-taking criminal mindset because they’re willing to risk crossing the dangerous southern border illegally? Is it because they’re connected with the drug trade coming from Mexico? It is because they’re encouraged to break the law by leftist activists who even help smuggle them in?

      I don’t think even most conservatives are against all forms of immigration. Even “Jim of Jim’s blog” who is the notorious racist is apparently willing to accept a moderate level of highly skilled immigration from India.

      > Most of the people I know have STEM or professional degrees and clean records, but about a third of them are unemployed and another third are severely underemployed, e.g. a lawyer who walks dogs for a living.

      I don’t know any of programmer who is any good who is unemployable. They all have multiple job offers, especially if they’re flexible in terms of the location and other facets of the work. The people you know apparently misjudged which STEM field would be in the highest demand. The free market penalizes those who don’t correctly appraise the reality of the changes in the economy and technology. I hope we’re not advocating allowing immigration of more lawyers. We already have a far too litigious society, that makes it very costly/risky to operate a business. I think we should be allowing immigration of the highest skilled in any profession and even the highly skilled in professions such as programming which have an oversupply of job offers.

      > MS-13 was a large presence at my previous apartment complex. Unlike
      the government, if you leave them alone they’ll leave you alone.

      Do you not care about the youth being destroy with drugs? So as long as they don’t bother you, then the heck with the others in our society.

      I’ll agree that the government is too large and obtrusive, but that’s not a justification for ignoring the holistic cost of illegal immigration and unskilled labor immigration.

      • You say you “don’t know any of programmer who is any good who is
        unemployable.” I think that’s the most remarkable claim I’ve ever
        read in this blog. Where, if you don’t mind my asking, do you live,
        and how many programmers do you know, other than through work? (If
        you only know people through work, there’s a strong selection bias.)
        —–
        I said that about a third of the people I know are unemployed and
        another third underemployed. The numbers are even worse if I restrict
        it to programmers, assuming we’re talking about *paid* work.
        —–
        After my last employer went out of business ten years ago, instead
        of immediately looking for another job, I took four years off to
        take care of my ill mother. After her death, I contacted numerous
        recruiters and also sent hundreds of resumes, each of them carefully
        tailored to each job, and explaining why I’m especially well qualified
        to do that specific job. The result? Nothing. Not even a single
        interview. Eric can testify that I’m a very skilled and experienced
        programmer, as we’ve worked together on projects. Several past employers
        can testify to the same.
        —–
        My landlord/housemate is also a skilled and experienced programmer.
        Unlike me, he has a perfectly clean record, a CS degree, and a car.
        And he’s 20 years younger than me. But he’s been out of work for
        seven years. He’s still looking every day, and he gets an interview
        once every month or two. At one recent interview, he was told that
        he’s very qualified, and they’ll definitely call him back if they
        can’t find an H-1B employee.
        —–
        The H-1B program was intended to bring over foreigners who have
        extraordinary and rare skills that are all but absent in the US.
        People like Einstein, Fermi, and Turing. Probably something on the
        order of a dozen people per year. But, like nearly all government
        programs, it’s been grossly abused. About a quarter million (!)
        people are brought in on H-1B visas every year.
        —–
        Employers like H-1B employees because they can’t quit without being
        deported. As such, neither can they credibly threaten to quit.
        It’s the next best thing to slavery.
        —–
        But the real threat to programmers in the US isn’t H-1B employees,
        it’s foreigners who remain abroad. As good a programmer as I am,
        there are ones just as good in India, Russia, and elsewhere who are
        willing to work from home for less than US minimum wage. How am I
        supposed to compete with them? Move to their country, where the cost
        of living is less? I’ve seriously considered it.
        —–
        I mentioned just two programmers, but I know hundreds, living all over
        the US, and I hear similar things from more than half of them.
        —–
        Programming is unusual among STEM fields in that it can easily be
        done at home without any special or expensive equipment. This has
        resulted in lots of unemployed programmers in the US competing to get
        “discovered” by employers by working for free. This sometimes works,
        just as some high school athletes become pro athletes, some amateur
        actors become Hollywood stars, and some self-published authors become
        best sellers, but that’s hardly a rational career plan. Meanwhile,
        it means the fair market price of programming is effectively zero.
        —–
        Another problem is that most consumers of programmer services were
        raised on Microsoft, and have no concept that software can be either
        fast or reliable. They’re willing to buy crap, since they don’t know
        that anything else exists. As such, there’s very little market for
        quality software.
        —–
        I’m still programming, I’m just not being paid for it. And I’m not
        giving it away, either. I’m solving various math problems, as I have
        a knack for finding more efficient algorithms. Some of the math
        problems have rewards for solutions, so in that sense I’m still
        getting paid, albeit far less than minimum wage. But I’m doing it
        not for the money but for enjoyment and to keep my skills honed.
        I’ve always been very thrifty, so, barring medical or legal
        emergencies or a collapse of the dollar, I need never work
        for pay again.
        —–
        As for drugs, while I don’t partake, I don’t think anyone should be
        forbidden from putting whatever they want into their own body. Note
        that the two deadliest drugs are tobacco and alcohol. Should Safeway
        be raided by SWAT teams for selling those two deadly substances?

  43. Crime is a real issue. Legal immigrants have a slightly higher criminal propensity than the native born (the difference is small enough that its significance is disputed) but illegals’ propensity is much higher, to the point that 22% of all incarcerees are illegals (that’s 92% of all jailed immigrants).

    Well… To paraphrase somebody, “if [immigrating while lower-class] is a crime,
    only criminals will [immigrate while lower-class].” Does this remind you of anything? ;-)

  44. An angle: why were white people capable of effectively ruling nonwhite people on colonies where they were often a single digit percentage numerical minority, and are unable to do so in Rotherham where they are still majority or at least a much larger minority?

    I think the answer lies in segregation, and not only that, but also different law for different communities, and no shared democracy.

    This probably sounds very ugly to modern people who think the difference between something like an Apartheid and gas chambers is small.

    Perhaps it sounds a little bit better if we realize country borders also create segregation, different laws for different communities and no shared democracy.

    So in this sense it merely means keeping much of the features of a country border even when people move across a country border, either whites moving to nonwhite lands (colonialism), nonwhites moving to white lands (current migration patterns) or in some cases both are immigrants (Boers and Bantus moving to Khoisan land). You can actually think them of as enclaves.

    To be fair we see people happily taking such a deal whenever they are well paid. Example, Dubai. This is where a white person can experience what it is like to be treated like a second-class citizen and – and realize it does not have to hurt at all. You are not actually a citizen and will never be, not even if you marry, it requires two citizen parents. You never get anything like a vote or welfare. You can be thrown out any time. If you ever go to the actually Islamic places, you have to respect their rules. And while you work your butt off actual citizens don’t have to work and yet live a high standard living. You are absolutely second-class there. However, you can make a metric buttload of money and if you live in the parts meant for Westerners you can drink whiskey and dress as you want and generally have a good time. And many first-world whites take that deal and not squeal about second-class status. If you ask them they say I had good working conditions, good money, and in the Western areas I had all the fun I wanted in my free time, so what should I be unhappy about. People can accept stuff like this.

    • >why were white people capable of effectively ruling nonwhite people on colonies where they were often a single digit percentage

      Don’t forget differences in mean IQ. The degree to which Europeans pulled this off successfully was inversely proportional to the local means difference – leverage could be most extreme in sub-Saharan Africa, least in East Asia where the mean IQ is higher than European, and intermediate in places like India and the New World.

      More recently, whites could not prevent rape gangs in Rotherham because they were prevented from doing so by other whites in the grip of PC ideology. Stupid people with high time preference can win battles against Europeans with a better distribution of these traits by local weight of numbers, but they can’t win wars unless they’re being run by elites who are cognitively competitive with Europeans, or brighter.

      (India is a particularly interesting case because caste endogamy probably means that some caste groups were at African levels of disadvantage, while others were at parity with Europeans or possibly brighter. No prize for guessing that the mean-IQ gradient probably matches caste relative status; it works that way elsewhere, too, though the tendency of men to select for beauty and women to marry up will tend to narrow the spread in societies without caste endogamy.)

      • So far as I understand, the Europeans were extraordinarily successful in Asia as well. They conquered most of it.

        • >So far as I understand, the Europeans were extraordinarily successful in Asia as well. They conquered most of it.

          But where they conquered, they couldn’t get away with a rulers-to-ruled ratio as low as in places with a lower native mean IQ. And they conquered less of Asia, proportionally, than they did of sub-Saharan Africa.

          Think of the imperialists as having two force multipliers: their technology and their mean-IQ difference from the locals. Now model different modes of imperialism as ways of investing as little manpower and wealth as possible to control the terms of trade with the locals.

          How effectively you can coerce is mainly a function of technology difference (“We gave got the maxim gun / and they have not”). How often you you can manipulate the natives effectively rather than coercing them is going to be a function of IQ difference.

          Where the force multiplier is higher, manpower investment will be lower. And vice-versa. This is my answer to Dividualist’s question – how they got away with so few troops and colonial administrators.

          • “And they conquered less of Asia, proportionally, than they did of sub-Saharan Africa. ”

            And less in sub-Saharan Africa than they did in the Americas. So, are you now going to claim that Native Americans have lower intelligence than Africans?

            Given the isolation of sub-Saharan Africa, difficult terrain, and troubles with the development of agriculture, the rapid colonization is not a surprise. Add to this the level of diseases that prevented urbanization in much of Africa, hampering the adoption of writing and technological progress.

            If people with guns come to a region where travel is difficult and people are illiterate, the outcome is not difficult to predict. The Chinese invented gunpowder and they were literate before the Western powers, so their response could be much more organized than those of isolated African tribes. Their neighbors, the Mongols and Huns have even raided Europe for millennia.

            • >And less in sub-Saharan Africa than they did in the Americas. So, are you now going to claim that Native Americans have lower intelligence than Africans?

              You miss the weight of the original question. Yes, they conquered more of South America. But what was the manpower ratio required to conquer and hold it? Remember Dividualist’s original question. It was about how they got away with so few troops where they did hold power, not about the pattern of conquest vs. no conquest.

              We know that Cortez and Pizarro conquered despite a ridiculous manpower disadvantage. Period accounts are very clear as to why; the advantages of gunpowder, steel, and horses were overwhelming. Technological force multiplier par excellence.

              They were also good at forming alliances with natives hostile to the dominant power (cf Cortez attacking Mexico City with an army composed mostly of allies from Texcoco and other city-states). IQ difference would have mattered there, too; all other things being equal negotiations are a win for the party that can out-think and out-talk its opposition.

              Mean IQ difference would matter more after the fighting; my model would expect it to predict the ratio of colonial administrators and occupation troops to the ruled required to keep them subjugated. It would predict that ratio to be lowest in sub-Saharan Africa, highest in East Asia, and intermediate elsewhere. Near the upper end of the IQ means range across different native populations, outright conquest by Europeans would become less common.

              I think this fits the record. The Japanese (east Asians with a mean IQ slightly higher than European mean) were never conquered and in fact kicked the Russians’ asses in 1905.

              • “Period accounts are very clear as to why; the advantages of gunpowder, steel, and horses were overwhelming. Technological force multiplier par excellence.”

                Which is different from the conquest in Africa how?

                Africans had neither gunpowder nor horses and iron was limited. Large scale organization was impossible in most of Africa due to extremely difficult terrain. Even the Europeans had difficulty getting inland. That might have been the main difference with South America: They had roads there.

                I get the very, very strong impression that the conclusion you draw about IQ has been baked into your “model” from the start. Discounting everything that disadvantaged the African population to reach this one conclusion: It must have been their genes.

                The one known fact everyone here avoids to mention like an STD is that genetic diversity in Africa is orders of magnitude larger than in the rest of the world combined. The genetic make up of non-African Homo sapiens is a small subset of the gene pool of African Homo sapiens. Any claims about the “inherited” intelligence of “Africans” fly in the face of this diversity.

                • >Which is different from the conquest in Africa how?

                  You seem not to be engaging Dividualist’s question. I was still trying to.

                  >It must have been their genes.

                  Silly person, you’re dragging in an assumption I never made. On the evidence it looks like genes limit maximum IQ, but in pre-industrial conditions almost nobody but a handful of aristocrats were unaffected by early-childhood nutritional deficits that will keep you from ever reaching that ceiling.

                  So, if you want to attribute imperialist victories to better childhood nutrition rather than genes, I’m mostly OK with that – I’m not a racist and have no investment in racist positions. It would nicely explain why the British so often seemed to find themselves in situations where the local elites seemed pretty clever and the peasantry quite stupid, even when the elites routinely married peasant women. Being shorted on lipids in childhood seems to stunt brain growth; freakin’ elites fed their kids better.

                  Oh, shit. Is this why milk-drinking cultures (Vikings, Arabs, Mongols, Huns) are overrepresented in the successful-conquerors derby? I hadn’t thought of that angle before…

                  I say “mostly” because genetic differences have probably always been a factor, even if they were largely swamped by environmental-insult effects in the past. I expect genes predict mean-IQ spreads between populations better today than they did 100 years ago, and will be even more predictive in the future as average wealth levels rise and quality of childhood nutrition tracks them.

                  I don’t think I know how much of the African mean-IQ deficit in the colonial period was environmental and how much was genetic. You don’t either. All we know is that today, with improved nutrition, Sub-Saharan African populations are still at a serious mean-IQ disadvantage – enough so that they have to import their mercantile class from Bengal and other places. This suggests that their deficit was worse in the past.

                  • “You seem not to be engaging Dividualist’s question. I was still trying to.”

                    Sorry, missed that. Jared Diamond did a good job coming up with the historical data.

                  • “Oh, shit. Is this why milk-drinking cultures (Vikings, Arabs, Mongols, Huns) are overrepresented in the successful-conquerors derby? I hadn’t thought of that angle before…”

                    The Chinese and Japanese have done without milk.

                    ” All we know is that today, with improved nutrition, Sub-Saharan African populations are still at a serious mean-IQ disadvantage – enough so that they have to import their mercantile class from Bengal and other places”

                    Prenatal care seems to be a very important factor. That means, more care for women. Not exactly the main focus of economic development in Africa during the last decades.

                    Also see my comment above. Correcting micronutrient deficiencies can boost world IQ by 10 points.

                    • >The Chinese and Japanese have done without milk.

                      True, but northeast Asians start out genetically on-average brighter than the rest of us. Could be they just don’t need the help.

                      The interesting question is whether we can identify a whole bunch of conqueror-culture populations that have IQ means below the all-humans average and don’t do dairy. A quick rummage through my mental files suggests this is unlikely.

                    • “The interesting question is whether we can identify a whole bunch of conqueror-culture populations that have IQ means below the all-humans average and don’t do dairy.”

                      Eric, did you forget that every IQ test is specifically constructed for each language and culture to ensure that the users of that test actually can make it? And that each of those tests is normalized to a mean of 100 and a standard deviation of 15 points?

                      Which means that every people will have the same average IQ and the same sd. When two people with a different language get different average IQ’s, then the tests have not been normalized correctly.

                      So, it is a methodological impossibility to compare different the IQs of people using different languages. Moreover, the Flynn effect ensures that even direct comparisons between different generations are impossible.

                      Actually, IQ is a miserable tool to compare humans outside of school.

                    • >Eric, did you forget that every IQ test is specifically constructed for each language and culture to ensure that the users of that test actually can make it?

                      Wow, you are at least 25 years behind the curve. This has been largely untrue for decades. The one part of it that is still true is hat vocabulary in one’s primary language seems to be an excellent measure of g, but that’s not useful for your thesis since such vocabulary inventories are quite easy to construct if the pyschometrician has access to fluent speakers and comparing the scores across populations is an elementary curve fit. Otherwise, instruments such as Raven matrices and spatial-rotation tests do an excellent job of being culture-neutral.

                      >Actually, IQ is a miserable tool to compare humans outside of school.

                      The entire body of practical psychometry refutes this. There is really no excuse for any educated person to believe such nonsense in 2018.

                    • @esr
                      “The entire body of practical psychometry refutes this. ”

                      No, it does not. Look at figures 4-6 of the link below:

                      What grades and achievement tests measure
                      http://www.pnas.org/content/113/47/13354.short

                      Analyses using scores on achievement tests and grades as proxies for IQ conflate the effects of IQ with the effects of personality. Both measures have greater predictive power than IQ and personality alone, because they embody extra dimensions of personality not captured by our measures.

                    • >No, it does not. Look at figures 4-6 of the link below:

                      Doesn’t address the point. Not until you can explain why, for example, IQ is very good at predicting salary gains among people in the same profession. Of course we might predict better if we could capture more variables (and that’s what the PNAS paper says), but that doesn’t mean IQ is not pretty effective by itself.

                      A major problem with those “other measures” is that assays of “personality” are difficult to do repeatably. Which is one reason I would be a little reluctant to rely on the PNAS paper unless I knew the study were triple-blinded – otherwise unconscious experimenter bias could very easily skew the results.

                    • “Otherwise, instruments such as Raven matrices and spatial-rotation tests do an excellent job of being culture-neutral.”

                      The real factor in social success is verbal eloquence. So, aside from the question how “culture-neutral” these tests are, there remains the question how well a non-verbal test will evaluate verbal intelligence. That seems to be rather poor.

                      Verbal and nonverbal intelligence scores within the context of poverty
                      https://s3.amazonaws.com/academia.edu.documents/45025200/Gifted_Education_International-2016-Kaya-0261429416640332.pdf?AWSAccessKeyId=AKIAIWOWYYGZ2Y53UL3A&Expires=1519914731&Signature=Fb1RRjq0e9tXFm%2FT40r%2BKN%2Ftano%3D&response-content-disposition=inline%3B%20filename%3DVerbal_and_nonverbal_intelligence_scores.pdf

                      In general, the nonverbal mean (M = 109.4, SD = 16.9) was 20.3 points higher than the verbal mean (M = 89.1, SD = 16.6). This difference was statistically significant at the p < 0.05 level and produced a large effect size (d =1.2).

                      And there remains the matter of experience changing the performance on tests, verbal or not. The only thing that cannot be trained is working memory. But working memory is not the elusive g factor.

                    • “Not until you can explain why, for example, IQ is very good at predicting salary gains among people in the same profession.”

                      1) IQ correlates very well to achievement in education. People get hired on educational achievement. Also, job performance correlates with school achievement if you are hired because of what you have learned. And quite a number of people are hired because of what they have learned (or not).

                      2) IQ correlates with other personality traits, just as it does with general health and height. These other traits go a long way to get a person into good jobs.

                      Especially height, which predicts status in itself, has been studied:

                      Stature and status: Height, ability, and labor market outcomes
                      https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2709415/

                      The results in Table 7 indicate that, for both boys and girls, the patterns of heights over childhood convey information about children’s cognitive ability. If so, then heights at different periods in childhood, even controlling for adult height, should be associated with earnings in adulthood.

                    • >2) IQ correlates with other personality traits, just as it does with general health and height.

                      Well, so much for your original claim that IQ is narrow and nonpredictive outside of school settings.

                      You see the facts, but you evade the implications. IQ (or rather the Spearman’s g it approximates) is an index of neuroimmune health – measures it, in a strong sense. Neuroimmune health doesn’t just correlate with general health and height, it’s causative. Also of facial symmetry, which is a large factor in attractiveness.

                    • Raven matrices … do an excellent job of being culture-neutral

                      Not quite “culture” in the most usual sense of the world, but I think I would do much worse at Raven’s matrices if I didn’t know about what a cyclic permutation or an XOR is.

                  • > So, if you want to attribute imperialist victories to better childhood nutrition rather than genes

                    Ah, but lactose tolerance outside early childhood _is_ genetic! Checkmate, atheists.

                    • Lactose tolerance is a single gene change, keeping lactase available in adulthood, allowing access to a new food source, milk. Milk is grass made digestible. In evolution, that is small change for a big win. And the change took place 10k years ago and took a long time. Now you show me that a higher IQ is a single gene change with an immediate gain in reproduction.

                      The conventional story is simple. The win from a higher IQ as you all describe is mainly realized in urban settings, eg., technology, trade, political organization. But in such environments, IQ has little influence on reproduction success. Too few dumb people die (or rather their children do not die early enough).

                      But that is only a (very) small part of the story. The big part is that changes in the genetic make up scale with the size of the breeding population. The time it takes for a change to get a foot hold in a population in generations is of the order of the square root of the size of the reproductive population, depending on the fitness advantage. That is, it is fast in small, founder, populations like early farmers among hunter gatherers. But with a million people that intermarry (e.g., Roman time Europe), it takes about a 1000 generations to make large changes (~25k year). This means that an urban setting is best for realizing the advantage of a high IQ, but worst for getting any genetic change fixed.

                      The other story is that intelligence in humans is already maximized for the available nutrition and restrictions of pregnancy and birth. Bigger heads do not fit the birth canal, and more brains need more food, and not just calories. Currently, the growth curve of children is fragile, with nutrient deficiencies and disease having a marked influence on health, statue, and cognition. Any evolution in cognition has to balance this fragility with the gains from a higher IQ.

                    • >The other story is that intelligence in humans is already maximized for the available nutrition and restrictions of pregnancy and birth.

                      Probably not. Yes, fetal skulls have pushed a size limit, but there are those pesky Ashkenazim to consider. Something allowed them to gain a 1STD mean-IQ genetic advantage over us poor dumb Gentiles in c.400 years of truncation selection, and they ain’t schlepping around with heads the size of basketballs.

                      Jewish diseases like Gaucher’s Syndrome suggest strongly that their 400-year leap was due to something around phospholipid metabolism. I’m just guessing – but it’s an informed guess – that the Ashkenazi alleles mainly have the effect of speeding up glucose metabolism or nerve-impulse propagation.

                      Another obvious low-hanging fruit is degree of cortical folding. People with high IQs have more of it; more surface area = more cortical cells.

                      Looks to me like skull sizes blew up in hominids because that was the easiest intelligence-boosting variation to random-walk into, but I’ve enumerated two others that haven’t run out of juice yet. When the stupidest humans have a European/East-Asian level of cortical folding and an Ashkenazi phospholipid metabolism, then maybe we need to start worrying about genetic-IQ means topping out.

                    • “Something allowed them to gain a 1STD mean-IQ genetic advantage over us poor dumb Gentiles in c.400 years of truncation selection, and they ain’t schlepping around with heads the size of basketballs.”

                      Nice just-so-story, but the Ashkenazim Jews have other things going for them than mere genetics, like a culture that emphasizes intellectual accomplishment.

                      It does matter whether you spend your youth running after a ball or studying books and arguing over it. Brains do have things in common with muscles. Especially the fact that practice makes permanent. If you play a violin 8 hours a day, that violin will take up quite a lot of brain matter real estate (this has been measured). If you run after a ball 8 hours a day, other parts of your brain will flourish. If you use complex language and do complex mental tasks all day, that leaves you much better at handling these tasks than if you serve drinks at a bar all day.

                      And an IQ test is doing complex tasks in your head. Here too, practice makes perfect. And there is research to proof it:

                      https://www.psychometricinstitute.com.au/Practice_and_psychometric_tests.html

                      A study from the 60s that investigated the impact of intensive training (six hours of training) revealed that such training can improve people’ s IQ (intelligence) by nine points on average.

                      https://alumni.berkeley.edu/california-magazine/winter-2012-culture-shock/practice-makes-perfect

                      After attending an eight-week training program Mackey designed, the students on average raised their IQs by 10 points, some gaining as many as 14 points.

                    • >It does matter whether you spend your youth running after a ball or studying books and arguing over it.

                      It does. But when separated-twin studies show that the IQ gains from environmental enrichment wash out at puberty, leaving the children with an IQ closer to biological family than adoptive ones, your environmentarianism is pretty much kaput.

                      Environment can permanently damage IQ, but not raise it reliably. With heroic measures you can get what look like temporary gains, but they don’t last. Reality bites.

                    • “But when separated-twin studies show that the IQ gains from environmental enrichment wash out at puberty, leaving the children with an IQ closer to biological family than adoptive ones, your environmentarianism is pretty much kaput.”

                      Thqat was not the question. The question was whether IQ tests are a reliable tool.

                      Every sane study finds that IQ test results improve considerably with training, which makes IQ tests a very unreliable measurement tool. Given that IQ tests for different age groups are different, you can expect that experiences that make you perform good on one age group test might not transfer to another age group test. When you claim certain sub-populations have a higher/lower average IQ, that tells us nothing as these sub-populations will have different experiences and training that will make them perform different on the tests.

                      Also, much of the identical twin studies can be thrown out as they do not account for the importance of pre- and peri-natal environments (the famous 1000 days) on later life.

                      It seems you also still have not understood what “heritability” really means. This link gives a good explanation and debunking, e.g., Heritability and inherited are nearly the opposite in meaning.
                      https://apcentral.collegeboard.org/courses/ap-psychology/classroom-resources/understanding-heritability

                      6. As the environment gets more similar for individuals of very different heritabilities, heritability increases.
                      7. The heritability of a group of individuals with relatively similar heredities in very different environments is relatively low.

                      To summarize, IQ is a miserable tool to compare populations. Its use outside education is generally not only bad science, but can easily cross over to misconduct and fraud. If you want to compare populations on cognitive abilities, you should study these abilities and not go for such an unreliable proxy measure.

                  • Franz Oppenheimer gave, in his book “The State”, a description of how tribes of nomads (herdsmen and Vikings) were, for several reasons, militarily superior to tribes of peasants that they would conquer. It mentions milk specifically.

                    http://www.franz-oppenheimer.de/state1.htm

                    “[The herdsman] is physically stronger and just as adroit and determined as the primitive huntsman, whose food supply is too irregular to permit him to attain his greatest natural physical development. The herdsman can, in all cases, grow to his full stature, since he has uninterrupted nourishment in the milk of his herds and an unfailing supply of meat. … Secondly, tribes of herdsmen increase faster than hordes of hunters. This is so, not only because adults can obtain much more nourishment from a given territory, but still more because possession of the milk of animals shortens the period of nursing for the mothers, and consequently permits a greater number of children to be born and to grow to maturity.

                    … Herdsmen, on the other hand, move to the best advantage in a great train, in which each individual is best protected; and which is in every sense an armed expedition, where every stopping place becomes an armed camp. Thus there is developed a science of tactical maneuvers, strict subordination, and firm discipline.

                    … The peasants fight as undisciplined levies, and with their single combatants undisciplined; so that, in the long run, even though they are strong in numbers, they are no more able than are the hunters to withstand the charge of the heavily armed herdsmen. But the peasantry do not flee. The peasant is attached to his ground, and has been used to regular work. He remains, yields to subjection, and pays tribute to his conqueror; that is the genesis of the land states in the old world.”

                    Eric, I would be very interested in your opinion of that entire chapter, most particularly the section “The Genesis of the State”.

                  • “IQ (or rather the Spearman’s g it approximates) is an index of neuroimmune health – measures it, in a strong sense. ”

                    I disagree. IQ is a behavioral index of neurofunctioning in an educational setting. It measures task performances that are relevant in schools.

                    IQ measures a mix of several cognitive capabilities, working memory, social capabilities, and general health (history). It measures performances, that are have known basis in experience. In modern industrial societies, social success depends to a large extend on educational success. So, it should not surprise anyone that IQ correlates with success in later life.

                    But every time people investigate these links, it shows that IQ depends on life history rather than certain genes and other personality factors explain post-educational success better than IQ.

                  • “IQ (or rather the Spearman’s g it approximates) is an index of neuroimmune health – measures it, in a strong sense. ”

                    No, IQ is an index of neurofunctioning. It is a behavioral test to estimate the performance in school related tasks. That is, it is a measure of the Phenotype, a result of personal life-history, a consequence of all the cumulative influences on growth and health experienced since conception plus everything that has been learned and experienced since birth.

                    As it is based on behavioral tasks, it also measures a host of personality traits that affect behavior and learning. But it is never more than a proxy measure of educational abilities. It was initially developed to help find areas in which students needed remedial teaching, and that is what it is good at.

                    IQ is not immutable, not genetically determined, and does not predict societal success better than a host of other personality traits. Its only legitimate use is in education, as it predicts strength and weakness in school achievements.

                  • Being shorted on lipids in childhood seems to stunt brain growth; freakin’ elites fed their kids better.

                    Oh, shit. Is this why milk-drinking cultures (Vikings, Arabs, Mongols, Huns) are overrepresented in the successful-conquerors derby? I hadn’t thought of that angle before…

                    So you’re saying that skim milk is tantamount to child abuse?

                • And roads, guns etc. just exist on their own or are made by high-IQ people who are capable of cooperating, delaying gratification etc. ? How comes that when you see a primitive and backwards culture your first assumption is not the common-sense, if offensive, one, namely that they may be dumb? If teach someone to use software and they are just not getting it, what is your first thought?

                  Genetic diversity in Africa: seriously, try to think more critically, not just regurgitating mainstream propaganda. That genetic diversity comes from small groups who are really, really different – think pygmies. But the vast majority of Subsaharans are derived from the https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bantu_expansion see also this haplogroup: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Haplogroup_E-V38

                  This pretty closely parallels the case of Western Europeans with the R1b haplogroup and the languages derived from the Western branch of the Indo-European language family. Except that their exceptions, like the pygmies, are far more different than our exceptions, like the Basque.

                  • @TheDividualist
                    “And roads, guns etc. just exist on their own or are made by high-IQ people who are capable of cooperating, delaying gratification etc. ?”

                    So, why did the Germanic people had to wait for the Romans to build roads? And why did the Romans not use guns? History is a bitch. You do not need IQ to explain lack of development.

                    @TheDividualist
                    “How comes that when you see a primitive and backwards culture your first assumption is not the common-sense, if offensive, one, namely that they may be dumb?”

                    Because dumb people get extinct pretty vast. And they do so everywhere and without the need of guns. There have been a dozen or so human (sub-)species that all got extinct when Homo sapiens arrived. What is left is genetically quite uniform. There is less genetic variation in the whole of humanity than in any population of the great apes inhabiting a single forest in Africa.

                    @TheDividualist
                    “That genetic diversity comes from small groups who are really, really different – think pygmies.”

                    Always excuses. The Bantu expansion covers a lot of people, but not all of Africa. But these were people who were able to invent agriculture all of their own. That is quite an achievement, on par with every other group of humans on every other continent.

                  • Seriously, Winter. You think genetic IQ is cast in stone in a population?

                    Read your Tacitus. Germanic barbarians were dumbfucks who literally gambled themselves into slavery.

                    Same for Gauls, Vercingetorix’s case is instructive, he learned in Rome what a nation means, tried to explain to Gaul tribes, did not really succeed.

                    Their IQ improved in the later times. Ostsiedlung. Manorialism. Hanging criminals. Vikings, whose success largely lied in IQ, being really good smiths, ruling over many of them.

                    BTW Celtic people built cool roads. But of wood, so it did not survive long.

                    >Because dumb people get extinct pretty vast.

                    In an environment where food is plenty and you don’t have to save for the winter, and tribal fights are a lot like white thrash beating the fuck out of each other in the local bar? No, the selection pressure is pretty limited.

                    Bantus are good farmers, domesticated every suitable plant, but did not invent stuff like an alphabet or the wheel.

                    • >Read your Tacitus. Germanic barbarians were dumbfucks who literally gambled themselves into slavery.

                      Sometimes the IQ mean moves even faster than it did for the Germans. Ashkenazi Jews seems to have been truncation-selected up a whole standard deviation in not much more than 400 years. See Cochrane & Harpending’s “The 10,000 Year Explosion: How Civilization Accelerated Human Evolution”

                    • “You think genetic IQ is cast in stone in a population?”

                      Eh, population genetic allele frequencies have a specific dynamic. And possibilities for changes within 50 generations are severely limited.

                      But maybe you are not up to date with population genetics?

                      “No, the selection pressure is pretty limited.”

                      Ever been to rural Africa?

                      All in all these are a collection of just-so stories not backed by empirical evidence. Most certainly not backed by any population genetics.

                    • “Read your Tacitus. Germanic barbarians were dumbfucks who literally gambled themselves into slavery.”

                      1) Gambling is rive in many parts of the world. The Chinese have a reputation to uphold in this respect (I actually know of a case where a Chinese businessman gambled away his company). I do not see a link with intelligence.

                      2) Tacitus was not exactly an impartial observer concerned with journalistic or research ethics. When Fox news has an item about my country, we are shown as morons too. Which tells us more about Fox News than about us.

                  • Winter’s “genetic diversity” argument re: IQ is silly.

                    Ants have far more genetic diversity than humans, it doesn’t mean they are smarter than humans.

                    • “Ants have far more genetic diversity than humans, it doesn’t mean they are smarter than humans.”

                      Does this comment mean that you consider people from Europe and people from Africa to be different species? It looks very much like it. Actually, this goes very much further than mere “racism”.

                      My argument is that anyone who claims people with a black skin, or Africans for that matter, are genetically “different” from people with a white skin is utterly ignorant on the matter of population genetics of humans.

                      Attributing some kind of overall genetic disadvantage on any topic to people with a black skin just because of their skin color are the markings of an ignorant fool. In your case, it most likely is willful ignorance.

                      Africans differ more from each other genetically than some of them are different from Europeans and Asians. The non-African gene pool is largely a subset of the African gene pool.

              • > They were also good at forming alliances with natives hostile to the dominant power

                And there were certainly plenty of those.

                As Neal Stephenson noted (paraphrased from memory) one way of understanding what utter assholes the Aztecs and Maya were is that when the Spanish Inquisition took over, things got *less* oppressive.

            • One factor immediately sprang to mind: Africa and Asia are rife with scary diseases and parasites. Read old books, they’re full of tales of people who went to the colonies and either died or came back sick as a dog. Apart from syphilis I’m not aware of a similar reputation for north america. South america has parasites (certainly up north ) but it was on the whole much less populated and relatively easy to take over.

  45. Trust is an unsettling thing to think about.

    I’ve studied myself when I’m around people, even people I know, when they are speaking an unknown language.

    Now I think I know why I feel what I do.

  46. “Crime is a real issue. Legal immigrants have a slightly higher criminal propensity than the native born (the difference is small enough that its significance is disputed) but illegals’ propensity is much higher, to the point that 22% of all incarcerees are illegals (that’s 92% of all jailed immigrants).”

    Source for the 22% figure? A quick google suggests that this is the fraction of *federal* prisoners who are illegals, not all incarcerated persons; federal prisoners are only about 10% of the total. Of course, anyone detained for an immigration offense would go to the Feds, since that’s a federal crime, so it’s possible that a lot of those people are incarcerated for immigration offenses.

    Of course we know that illegals are (by definition) guilty of immigration crimes. The more interesting question is whether they commit other kinds of crime at an elevated rate. I would guess they do just based on demographics (they’re disproportionately low-education young men), but in fact the evidence mostly suggests they do not, e.g. see here:
    http://criminology.oxfordre.com/view/10.1093/acrefore/9780190264079.001.0001/acrefore-9780190264079-e-93

    • Incarceration statistics wouldn’t reflect a large increase in flaunting the law for example w.r.t. proper disposal of trash, maintaining the property mechanical safety of your vehicle, not overloading your vehicle, not putting crowing roosters next to the window where your neighbor sleeps in a residential zone not zoned for farm animals, skipping in line, skipping in lanes, and petty corruption viewed as a normal, etc..

      https://amgreatness.com/2018/02/19/understanding-california-mind/

      My experiences in California in 1980s were of first generation Hispanic immigrants being too busy hardworking to be involved in crime. Their children (special mention for the exotic one that sat on my lap every day in drafting class and the two twins that did the nasty in the back seat…and the Chinese girl…), were assimilating quite well indeed! Whereas, spring break in Corpus Christi in 2002, was marred by stabbings and gang bangers. Perhaps what happened is that with idle time (welfare?) and too high of a concentration of their culture of origin, they stopped assimilating.

      I wonder if a disproportionate percentage of those who originate from lower IQ races and cultures, produce more offspring that end up on welfare. And then the welfare system kicks in as it did in destroying the incentive for negro males to be hardworking, perpetuating an idle underclass that deviates from the American values and thus eroding social trust.

  47. Jordan Peterson says that Trust is the “Fundamental Natural Resource”.

    He also says elsewhere that trust in the individual is the greatest discovery or principal of the West.

    • I hate videos as a medium but I am currently reading his 12 rules book. It is better than I thought. Even non-hostile sources tended to describe his stuff as telling college kids to put their rooms in order + opposing SJW crazy mostly from a classical liberal angle + a whole bunch of Christianity. In reality the book begins with an excellent discussion of the evolution of social status, serotonine, and nutrition. Not that overly philosophical stuff I expected. Highly recommended.

      • The reaction to Jordan Peterson is exhibit A in my contention that the academy has almost entirely disintegrated, because even the “academic” criticism of him is visibly obviously divorced from anything he is actually saying, the bare minimum of competence I expect from a so-called “academic”‘s criticism. I wouldn’t expect everything he says to be accepted by the academy as a whole without criticism, but the fact they are incapable of dealing with him on even a basic academic level, instead dealing with him purely politically, is a severe indictment of the academy. Intellectualism is dead in the universities now.

  48. For the libertarians out there, wondering how they could support closing the border:

    How much sense does it make to bring in large numbers of people, mostly poor, who will never vote for or support libertarian principles? They support big governement, they vote about 70% democrat.

    I’ve heard more than one assert that you cannot have free trade without a wide open border. This is of course nonsense. A nation is more than just a place to do business. Illegals bring their culture and voting patterns with them.

    This is what’s wrong with being a pure libertarian: the Nick Gillespie’s of the world lack a proper sense of the national interest.
    Libertarian is not enough. We need nationalists now.

    • “How much sense does it make to bring in large numbers of people, mostly poor, who will never vote for or support libertarian principles? They support big governement, they vote about 70% democrat.”

      You write that as if it’s natural law. The sad thing is that the Hispanic demographic is just about perfect as Republican voters. They are very religious, not terribly supportive of LGBT folk, non-feminist, etc. The fact that they don’t flock to this country and immediately become Republican voters says something about the modern Republican party, which has failed utterly at attracting people who tend very much to think like them.

      • He was talking about libertarians, not Republicans.

        I know from the Communist point of view everybody who isn’t a Communist is a Nazi (or a “Republican”, apparently the same thing in your terminology), but the real world is more nuanced than that.

        > says something about the modern Republican party, which has failed utterly at attracting people who tend very much to think like them.

        The Republicans currently control both houses of Congress and the Presidency, and will likely wind up controlling the Supreme Court for at least two generations.

        The Republicans currently control 33 state governorships versus 16 for the Dems (plus one independent).

        The Republicans currently have total control of 32 state legislatures versus 14 for the Dems (four are split). One more and they’ll have enough to call an Article V constitutional convention.

        The Republicans currently control the entire government (i.e., both governor and legislature) of 26 states. The Dems control the entire government of 8.

        Clearly this is some new meaning of “utterly failing to attract people” with which I was previously unfamiliar.

        As for “thinking very much like them”, I suggest that the real party bears only a faint resemblance to your cartoon parody of the party.

  49. I have lived in the Phoenix metro area for decades, and the impact of Latin American immigration, and illegal immigration here is immense.

    Because the immigrants arrive in such large numbers, they live in their own communities – not legally different, they just inhabit large swaths here in high concentrations. This limits their assimilation. Far worse, it reduces the pressure for their children, often US citizens, to assimilate, and many of them thus end up in criminal gangs, which are then perpetuated through generations. I suspect a lot of “dreamers” (or those who fit the criteria but didn’t sign up) are gang-bangers. Meanwhile, the parents are often hard working and fine people, but displacing the jobs of native American citizens.

    It is almost impossible to hire a landscaper who is not a first generation, probably illegal immigrant. The same is true in the construction trades. And, visit a nursing home and all the attendants are either Filipino or Romanian – and a friend, a legal Filipino immigrant – own’s a couple of these. Again… where did the Americans go that used to fill those jobs? They often end up on welfare or “disability.” I see a lot of this – the consequence of a welfare state and uncontrolled competition.

    The different culture of the immigrants shows up in substantially different views of government, and corruption. Corruption is to be expected, and government should be about who to bribe to get things. This is not good.

    Also… a comment on Arpaio. His “camps” were not “sordid” and they were not to hold illegal migrants. He had one “Tent City” jail. It was originally built because the county wouldn’t fund the expensive structure of a traditional jail. He kept it because it worked, it was inexpensive, and it did what jails really should do: make people regret their crimes. My only complaint was that it held people awaiting trial – that was wrong. He also had chain gangs, but contrary to media portrayals, everyone on them was a volunteer. He had a lot of volunteer posse’s, and these saved the taxpayer money while providing varied volunteer opportunities for the citizens of Maricopa County.

    Arpaio had his faults – e.g. disregarding a court order (a very bad one IMO) is not something a law enforcement officer should do. But he also did a lot of good.

    Now, if he’d just stop running for Senator.

    • Arpaio had his faults – e.g. disregarding a court order (a very bad one IMO) is not something a law enforcement officer should do.

      Why not? I mean if judges are going to disregard the law when making their rulings, why shouldn’t officials disregard their rulings.

      • Because the whole point of laws is predictability. People must know what to expect and what consequences their actions will have, so at least those who are capable of doing so will act rationally, not impulsively. Time preference scales depend heavily on the stability of the environment – why invest into an uncertain future, why try to act smart if you cannot tell what the consequences will be.

        • Except the judges are already disregarding the laws in making their rullings. The question is that given that they are, why should officials nevertheless obey them.

  50. I like the property rights argument to border enforcement/immigration control offered above.

    A libertarian would be retarded to argue that a homeowner is compelled to accept inside anyone who wants to live in his house. It works the same way with citizens of a country. It’s OUR country.

    I also choose to look at it as freedom of association. Free people can choose who to associate with. They can form organizations that have established restrictions on who can join. Yeah, a bunch of us did that. It’s called the fucking United States of America, and as free people we can decide who gets to join.

    There is a traditional term for a nation that is unwilling or unable to enforce control over its borders. That term is ‘extinct’. There’s a related term for actively experiencing an inability or unwillingness to enforce control over ones borders. That term is ‘invasion’.

    What does a hardcore open borders type do about several million young, unusually fit simultaneous immigrants with unusually heavy luggage, who all seem to know at least a little Mandarin? (Or 30 years ago, Russian.) Damn morons.

    • A libertarian would be retarded to argue that a homeowner is compelled to accept inside anyone who wants to live in his house. It works the same way with citizens of a country. It’s OUR country.

      I feel like this is skipping an important step. The stereotypical libertarian does not claim ownership of the rest of America; they only own their individual piece of it. If I own a farm in Texas, a Syrian offering to purchase a plot in Minnesota is none of my business. I don’t have standing.

      Trying to claim all libertarians own move-in rights to all of Libertania would require all libertarians to have purchased some part of all of it, or mixed their labor with it, or retained some sort of natural right to it or something, and any of that smacks of some sort of collectivism that doesn’t smell right to me.

      It might be okay to claim some right over who gets to be your neighbor, but if your original presumably approved neighbor chooses to sell his plot to a Slackertonian, on what grounds is a libertarian permitted to block it?

      • I think the closest analogy might be an HOA whose membership is required by restrictive covenants.

      • >In what grounds is a libertarian permitted to block it?

        The normal libertarian grounds would be if you knew* Slackertonian ownership would affect your property e.g., they wouldn’t/couldn’t properly maintain their share of joint infrastructure, they will operate a common-law nuisance, etc. The interesting question is how close “living in a democracy” approaches that situation.

        *I don’t care; this is a hypothetical.

        • I’m now reminded of various passages I read in The Machinery of Freedom, that suggest that you would have a natural interest in who owns land adjacent to yours. For precisely the reasons you cite, e.g. common fences. You would also have a natural interest in who owns land that isn’t adjacent, but is, say, upstream (sewage treatment), upwind (coal processing), or within earshot (loud parties, airports).

          Now, what to do regarding said natural interests becomes the interesting problem to me, and it’s somewhat related to your “living in a democracy” situation. A democracy is one solution to addressing such interests; everyone gets a vote on whether you can open your factory upstream from our homes.

          ISTR TMoF mentioned another possibility: everyone starts with a proportionate share in property that is close to theirs, and you can do with your share as you see fit, including selling it, buying shares in a neighborhood you plan on moving to, etc. I think the general idea was that you had the right to physical and financial control of that land in proportion to your shares, including profits from said factory, compensation for externality costs, and so on. I’m not clear on all the details at the moment though.

          • “ISTR TMoF mentioned another possibility: everyone starts with a proportionate share in property that is close to theirs…” for some value of close no doubt.

            Only distantly related to the current topic(s) but I suggest there is an emotional argument that people who are close have a somehow greater interest in property than absentee landlords. There are hangovers of this in statute in the American west protecting local residents from distant land owners. There is also a surviving belief associated with the Sagebrush arguments that the rights of adjacent landowners to run cattle on BLM land should trump the right of distant people to return the property to the wild for some value of park, national monument or wild.

            Similar issues have come up controlling immigration in Switzerland with its CH approach to nationhood. Refugees who don’t fit in Lucerne say may be denied local citizenship but be granted citizenship in a more cosmopolitan Geneva and so acquire the right to live as not really foreign but not really local anywhere in Switzerland.

  51. There was a time the Republicans understood what the real issue was:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YsmgPp_nlok

    There are a few things that I notice as rather odd in the whole debate…

    Currently more people are moving from the US to Mexico than vv. So why is illegal immigration suddenly a problem?
    Mexico is actually doing rather well, and that this is due to free trade and a liberalisation of the economy should not surprise anyone here…

    Most illegal immigrants entered legally, and just overstayed. How would a “wall” fix this. Border control doesn’t really work. You what we had in Europe before we had “open borders”? Right, “Open Borders”.

    Regarding criminality: Referring to “22% of inmates are illegals” as a proof of illegal immigrants being more criminal is a textbook case of “lying with statistics”. I see someone else brought this up already.
    Here in Switzerland they public statistics about the ethic origin of criminals. The most criminal group appears to be migrants from Western Africa, Nigeria in particular. But the statistics still show that the vast majority of migrants, even from Western Africa, are good, law abiding people.

    Regarding the “spike in communicable diseases”. Firstly, is this a problem? That depends on how big the spike is. And secondly, that does not automatically warrant the government interfering. There has recently been a spike in school shootings. Should the government now ban firearms?

    • > Mexico is actually doing rather well

      If you want to live in country where people are routinely beheaded, and we aren’t allowed to carry a weapon to defend ourselves. I bet Mexico is receiving income (illegals, drug trade) from our country much of it in cash trade which isn’t taxed.

      What if the USA is transformed to the culture of Mexico or Colombia? I read recently that the drug cartels in Colombia had diversified into illegal mining and that is why the price of gold is significantly lower than spot in South America.

      That is eroding social trust for Americans who don’t want to live in that sort of corrupt culture. However, we also have the left which is entirely corrupt and insane, so that also erodes social trust. That latter form of cancer enters in via promulgation of the propaganda of feminism, egalitarianism, and destruction of institutions and culture that promote K strategy production.

      > Border control doesn’t really work.

      The Hungarians apparently don’t agree with you. And it’s because they’re on the frontline (and homogeneously conservative enough to effectively resist northern EU ideology).

      > Here in Switzerland […] the statistics still show that the vast majority of migrants, even from Western Africa, are good, law abiding people.

      There may be a pattern worth paying attention to? I noticed in the 1980s that immigration was mostly going well. By 2002, I observed assimilation was failing especially the further south I was. In Bellingham, WA where my mother is, the immigration is still mostly a net positive effect because the Hispanics are outnumbered by high IQ whites and Asians.

      I suggested to my UK friend recently that if they shared a border with Nigeria, then they would likely have a much different perspective on the immigration issue.

      If your country allows a few million rapefugees within a short period of time, then maybe you’ll get the opportunity to understand firsthand the plight of those on the frontlines.

      > Regarding the “spike in communicable diseases”. Firstly, is this a problem?

      I’m recovering from Tuberculosis. Check the statistics on TB in for example Texas and especially the proliferation of multi-drug resistant strains. How many of the migrants from Syria are being tested for latent TB? Incidence in some countries is as high as 70% of the population. 33% of the world’s population is carrying latent TB. You’re never 100% cured of it, once you catch it. Enjoy.

      • >> Border control doesn’t really work.
        >The Hungarians apparently don’t agree with you

        What the Hungarians did was close a small part of the border. Just like when you throw a rock in the river the flow just finds another way…

        If we were to apply the Hungarian solution to the whole of Europe, what will you do when the prisons are overflowing with people guilty of the crime of climbing over a wall?

        • I would prefer open borders but then we’d have to eliminate democracy and privatize everything so that invaders can’t waltz in and parasite+destroy the productivity of a non-dysfunctional society.

          I’m conservative due to pragmatism, not for a lack of desire for idealism.

          > If we were to apply the Hungarian solution to the whole of Europe, what will you do when the prisons are overflowing with people guilty of the crime of climbing over a wall?

          Sans the minimum wage laws, welfare, and “we’ll pay you to come vote for leftism” incentives, I posit that an equilibrium would be attained wherein excessive new arrivals would be naturally and economically disincentivized.

          If we don’t have a State preventing private men from taking matters into their own hands, it would also be much more risky for invaders. They’ll likely be killed by some rednecks.

          But therein lies dilemma of the chaos and warlordism of privatizing everything. Alternatively privatization leads to power-law distribution effects and eventually winner-take-all, power-corrupts-absolutely outcomes. The underlying problem is a battle over fungible resources. If instead the main resource was our knowledge and unique brains/personalities, then I posit that a solution could be found. I work on decentralized ledgers to try to realize this experimental outcome.

          So there’s no actual sustainable or perfected solution given that fungible resources are constrained.

          I hope when the USA fractures that it can stabilize with some reasonably stable regions of sufficient homogeneity of politics, so that there will be still be a beacon of liberty in the world.

          I’m trying to figure out which grouping of people I can identify with their politics, who will be capable of sustaining social trust and organizing and sustaining such. Reading with great interest any discussion and insights on that subject.

          CalPERS is bankrupting California, massive tax increases on the way, there’s stampede exodus, and the hitech sector which is probably the majority of the GDP (after subtracting the govt spending) is losing its dominance.

          Draghi can’t get out of ZIRP/NIRP without an interest rate spiral crashing Europe, and thus will also bankrupt the European pensions. Hyperinflation will reach South Africa as they intend to expropriate the white farmers (copying Zimbabwe’s fall from breadbasket to starvation). The Minsky Moment for the irreparable $trillions socialism debt bubble is probably not more than 10 years from now and more likely sooner.

  52. An alternative solution is end all welfare, privatize everything including roads, military, and all land ownership. Allow owners to evict squatters with any force necessary. Then institute open borders. That’s the truly Libertarian solution, but taking open borders without the other components will cause the free market outcome to be institutionalized cultural war and eventual economic collapse.

    • Sorry, that won’t work, due to what is called “ruin voting.” People will flock to an economically-successful country, and then vote for socialist policies. That process is destroying California.

      • See my reply to K_. I meant without a State nor democracy, but that also has flaws.

        OldCurmudgeon, agreed and the Libertarians are more pragmatic because the anarchistic solution won’t work, at least until the economics shifts away from physical resources and geographical costs. I concur with Eric’s reply explaining the bifurcation of his political philosophy.

    • >That’s the truly Libertarian solution,

      That’s the anarchist solution. Libertarians normally support a strong government limited to enforcing contracts, punishing torts, etc.

  53. 1. Does anyone here know how things work in Scandinavia – is the trust eroding (their societies seem to have even higher trust levels than the US); also there seems to be variation across Scandinavian countries?

    2. Sometimes people hold up New Zealand as an example of a high-trust diverse society, but I don’t know enough to verify that.

      • Glad someone has time to watch all these videos and relay the important tidbits. Yeah I know that welfare modulates the ethics and that is an important point how it also erodes the public trust, because some people are gaming the system in a corrupt manner.

        Afaik, Americans used to be more focused on their vocations, family, sports, and daily concerns, not on politics. The Civil War was a necessity due to an impasse over ingrained culture and economics (and apparently there were also ulterior motives involving subjugating States rights issues). We were isolationist and didn’t want to get involved in the affairs of others. We minded our own business and focused on production and achieving the American dream. Now we have so many people riled up and making a career of fighting about politics. It’s so strange to see my country filed up with whiners and protestors. We were a “roll up your sleeves” and “pull yourself up by your bootstraps” culture. Leftism seems to have undermined the core values that made me proud of my heritage. I don’t recognize my country at least what I read from afar in the media.

  54. A small note on the relationship between immigration, crime and IQ.

    Brazil has a huge Japanese community, I guess the 1st or 2nd biggest in the world (excluding Japan itself), the current being the 4th generation descended from the original early-20th century immigrants. Most are still genetically Japanese, as the community maintains a strong habit of marrying internally, and the minority who aren’t are usually children of a 3rd-generation Japanese immigrant married to a white person. So, going for IQ measure alone, this group is pretty much in line with native Japanese, including in childhood nutritional levels, tending to be first places in college entrance exams etc., you get the picture.

    Culturally however this 4th generation is fully or almost fully assimilated. They act and behave as Brazilians, follow the same religions, have the same general outlook on life, and so on and so forth, with only pretty minor differences.

    Now, Japan needs immigrants due to their aging population, but it also wants to avoid having the genetic makeup of the population diverge, so they give VERY strong preference to expatriate Japanese to come back and become their low pay immigrants, and many 4th generation Brazilian-Japanese take advantage of it and go work there in blue collar positions for years before either returning to Brazil with enough money saved to open their own businesses here, or deciding to stay there.

    The minority who decides to stay there usually invests into becoming native, relearning the Japanese language and the country’s cultural norms and trying their best to fit. The majority who plans to come back, on the other hand, usually don’t. They stick to Brazilian culture, to Portuguese as their language, some never learning more than a few words in Japanese, and they stick to Brazilian neighborhoods in industrial towns, consuming Brazilian entertainment etc.

    Well, end result of that: those 4th generation Japanese immigrant-emigrants, despite their genetics being the same of the other, and their IQ similarly high, are also linked to a lot of crimes. If I’m not mistaken, Brazilian-Japanese and their children (who form gangs) are the 2nd or 3rd biggest source of immigrant-related criminality there, and a sizeable chunk of overall criminality in the areas they live.

    Based on that, I’ll venture the opinion that criminality is mostly linked to groups’ cultures and to the cultural divergence between groups, rather than to IQ.

    I think IQ might have an effect, I’m not denying it, but I think figuring out how much of an effect that would be is quite difficult given how strongly culture seems to be in comparison. Ditto, by extrapolation, for other things involving IQ vs. a number of other factors that might be much more prominent.

    • Um, this does not work this way. You can only assume same population means same IQ curves if you are sure all of these steps meant a strictly random sampling, and none of these acted as selecting for lower or higher IQ people.

      I mean, at least the last step should ring a bell. People move back to their native country, and cannot assimilate? I mean, that is easy mode. While some may just not want to, it strongly suggests mostly they are not the brightest bulbs.

      I think the very fact they assimilated so well to Brazil is not a good sign. People from more highbrow, more developed cultures rarely go fully native in lower brow, less developed cultures. They learn the local stuff but also keep theirs and teach their kids, because it is either culturally valuable or useful. People assimilate upwards, downwards not so much. It is not really necessary, a larger cup can hold a smaller amount of water while also holding something else. And there is also a matter of social status to talk about.

      A similar mistake is seen in the claim that the children of Black American soldiers with German women had normal or even high IQ. But the US military does not, probably, sample recruits randomly, maybe they reject too low IQs, and German women probably have a basic IQ requirement for a partner, they too will not select randomly. Which should be roughly the same as theirs, given assortative mating. So yes, this is to be expected but does not show anything.

  55. A society with plenty of “social trust” is indeed a better place to live, but social trust is an effect, not a cause, of that better quality. Giving that trust to people who will likely abuse it is suicidally stupid. That’s the mistake the Left makes, and tries to force us to make, when they urge us to open the borders to alleged refugees (or else the Lefties know very well that doing so will destroy civilization, and want exactly that to happen).

    But closing the borders would not be enough to stop the problem. We also need to stop paying useless welfare-eaters to breed. Their children have no future except crime, and BLM is the result.

    • I think social trust is both an effect and a cause of better quality. People trust each other when the food tastes all right and the roofs don’t leak and the loans get paid back on time. But the more your loan gets paid back, the more you’re willing to make another loan; the better your roof, the more slack you’re willing to extend to your roofer if he tells you he can’t come by on Saturday because his nail shipment is late; the tastier your food, the more likely you are to take up a collection to support your local grocer when her store burns down and the insurance payment isn’t enough to cover her until she can rebuild.

      Not that this disproves your conclusion. Forcing a new initiative as if social trust is ubiquitous is still opening the door to rampant defection; it’s just a matter of which prisoner is first to recognize that they’re in a dilemma that might not be iterated.

      Rather, it’s just that I think what you call the Left in this case is probably 5% correct, instead of 0%. Any new initiative can assume a degree of social trust – a small one. And it can take advantage of that with a small measure, much like when you offer a bit of food to a distrustful dog, in order to build more trust later.

      • Forcing a new initiative as if social trust is ubiquitous is still opening the door to rampant defection; it’s just a matter of which prisoner is first to recognize that they’re in a dilemma that might not be iterated.

        Let’s ask the mortgage industry.

    • That’s the mistake the Left makes, and tries to force us to make, when they urge us to open the borders to alleged refugees (or else the Lefties know very well that doing so will destroy civilization, and want exactly that to happen).

      I’m liable to lean toward “Lefties want exactly that to happen”, because the postmodern liberal mindset says that the culture they live in is not the antidote to Hobbes’ “war of all against all”, but the outcome of this.

      I think this is expressed most cleanly in this discussion about the events surrounding Lindsay Shepherd at Wilford Laurier University. [The whole video is about two hours long, so I jumped right to the relevant context — you only need to watch about two minutes.] I can’t help but see something like that, expecially in context with “scholarly” papers like these two questioning the use of evidence in medicinal treatment, and think that there is a premeditated and coordinated effort to undermine and destroy civilization as we know it.

    • You’re absolutely right about paying useless welfare-eaters to breed.
      No giant corporation should ever be bailed out unless its CEO submits
      to sterilization and regular drug tests. If the CEO has already had
      children, then the CEO’s children and grandchildren should also be
      sterilized. They have no future except white-collar crime.
      —–
      I thought BLM was the result of police randomly shooting innocent
      unarmed people. The majority of victims are white, but blacks are
      better organized. It’s true that a greater proportion of blacks are
      killed by cops, but the group with the greatest proportion killed by
      cops isn’t blacks, isn’t CEOs, and certainly isn’t criminals. It’s
      deaf people. “He just wouldn’t listen to my orders, so out of an
      abundance of caution I had no choice but to shoot him in the back
      seven times. I am of course devestated by this tragedy, just as I
      was the previous three times I killed an innocent person for no good
      reason, and just as I will be the next three times I do so.”

      • “I thought BLM was the result of police randomly shooting innocent
        unarmed people.”

        For peculiar values of randomly, innocent and unarmed. The shooting is not random, not even haphazard. Innocent of anything to die for surely but often guilty of a minor traffic infraction while armed with a motor vehicle if nothing else.

        By no means justifying such practices – I am utterly opposed. The rule by rights ought to be that it is more important the civilian goes home after shift than the armed and privileged officer.

        On the other hand separating issues of BLM from policing for revenue amounts to willful ignorance.

        See e.g. any number of discussions of Ferguson, Missouri. I especially suggest Greg Ellefritz as a useful resource on the subject of police and policing for revenue. Even Eric Holder doing a Power Point has been widely featured. Holder has lot of useful facts and some useful interpretation.

    • One of the problems here is that “the right” (whatever that means going back 200 years) has a piss-poor record in its thinking about immigrants. We’ve seen one immigrant panic after another. The Irish. The Yellow Peril. The Eastern-European Anarchists. The Evil Jews. The Horrible Catholics From Other Countries…

      And every one of those panics has been prejudiced and/or racist, and just plain wrong in its prediction of results. This is not a new argument, and your side has been wrong in every particular, since the 1830s.

      So if you want to win, you need to explain a few things in a very clear and testable fashion:

      1.) What makes this immigrant panic different from all the rest? (Think hard before you answer this one. The chances that the characteristic you choose will be something that echoes other complete failures of predication is very high.)

      2.) Why isn’t this immigrant panic both racist/prejudiced in its nature, and also a “dog whistle” suggesting that racism is good and useful?

      3.) Who is currently coming to the U.S. that is more dangerous than the Irish, the Jews, the Anarchists, the Catholics, the Japanese and Chinese were imagined to be? In other words, why should we take worries about Sharia Law more seriously than we took previous worries about “bomb throwing anarchists” or Catholics who “…would take jobs, spread disease and crime and plot a coup to install the Pope in power.” *

      4.) When do you expect the actual crisis to arrive – fighting in the streets, California passing Sharia Law, whatever you imagine will happen? If you can realistically justify a particular decade I’ll be impressed.

      5.) Given the right’s previous complete failures in this regard, why should I take your ideas remotely seriously?

      You might also ask, “Who is pushing this panic, and what do they hope to gain?” I think there’s some serious grifting here, and it would be useful to isolate it. (This was frequently true for the other panics.)

      * Paraphrasing Lyman Beecher, a notorious anti-Catholic. Also the wikipedia entry, for those who don’t take the Guardian seriously.

  56. It doesn’t matter what justifications you use, if you deny other people the right to live where they want to live, based purely on the random circumstance of their birth, then you are putting your own self-interest above their liberty rights. That is not a libertarian position, no matter how much you try to polish it up to look like one. There can be no ‘nationalist libertarian’ position, that is a total oxymoron. There can be no ‘moderate libertarian’ position that puts some other good above the liberty rights of millions of people.

    We have a word for people who are libertarians regarding their own liberty rights and authoritarians regarding other people’s liberty rights.

    It’s not wildly suprising, though, that Eric and everyone in this comment suggestion is on board with abrogating the liberty rights of foreigners. You’re on board with basically every main pillar of contemporary GOP policy. Welfare, guns, health care, immigration, foreign policy, civil rights, and so on and so forth… with only the very occasional exception. None of this would bother me at all if you would just admit you’re conservatives and stop calling yourselves libertarians.

    • Shorter Bennett: “It’s not libertarian to put your liberty above the rights of those who want to take it away.” Alrighty then.

      • >Shorter Bennett: “It’s not libertarian to put your liberty above the rights of those who want to take it away.” Alrighty then.

        Followed by “I, who hate libertarianism, get to tell libertarians they’re not libertarians because of my fantasies about what their policy preferences are.”

        In the immortal words of Bugs Bunny: “What a maroon.”

        • Good ad-hominem retort. Well, just keep on writing your authoritarianbig-state blog posts. I doubt any of the real libertarians you have in here will call you on it.

          • Neither Eric’s nor PapayaSF’s assertion was ad hominem. Neither is saying you’re a terrible person therefore you’re wrong. Rather, they summarized your argument in way that should have made its wrongness clearer. Why don’t you respond to those, with something more substantive than some blanket retort including “authoritarianbig-state” [sic]?

          • FYI, an insult isn’t a logical fallacy. The logical fallacy of ad hominem would have been something like “Bennett is a maroon, and thus his argument is wrong”. In the present case, your argument was countered on its merits (or lack thereof), and you were insulted.

            An insult following a logical argument is null. Well, not exactly null, it spices things up. It makes the exchange more interesting to read, and speaking from personal experience, it is also fun for the insulter. It can also be fun for the insultee, if they are the sort who can flip it back around, or devise their own return insults.

            In this case, I think the insult was not unjust. There is a hole in your stated philosophy big enough to hide a hundred million corpses in, and you either can’t see it yourself, or you hope that we won’t notice.

            • Perhaps though it could be more helpful (although perhaps less humorous and less entertaining) to point out to him in a less obfuscated manner, that the fallacy of his argument is really that perfect liberty (must be paid for by someone and thus) is equivalent to no liberty. Or more succinctly, that without costs and friction, we would not exist.

              The past and future would become indistinguishable/undifferentiated as the light cones would collapse. A friction-less existence is implausible.

    • “based purely on the random circumstance of their birth”

      More likely I think haphazard at best.

      Circumstances of birth are often the result of significant efforts to make the circumstances far from random.

      Hence the whole issue of anchor babies on one hand and parents seeking to give their children the possibility of dual citizenship – a potential escape against need. That even with no present intention of moving to the United States despite using the medical facilities.

      More to the point the question of random circumstances as used here begs the Rawls vs. Nozick debates. That is takes Rawls as a given. I suggest that in that dispute Nozick is the winner but there may well be later and meaningful discussions along the lines. I’d like to hear references and suggestion for more recent writings. As for the thesis here I suggest Nozick was right and Rawls, however sympathetic, flat wrong under close examination.

    • This kind of libertarianism is very naive that Bennett represents here.

      Foreigners do not have rights in this country, especially when they come in illegally.

      Libertarians see the national interests through a glass, darkly. At best.

  57. Popping this out because I’m tired of reading comments squished to the width of a Facebook feed:

    The interesting question is whether we can identify a whole bunch of conqueror-culture populations that have IQ means below the all-humans average and don’t do dairy. A quick rummage through my mental files suggests this is unlikely.

    If we’re looking specifically at Africa, then I’m inclined to start with the fairly well known pre-colonial empires of Africa, such as the Egyptians, the Kush, the Malinese, the Zulu, and many others. I have no idea which of those relied on dairy or other lipid-rich substitutes. I don’t even know to what extent all of them were conqueror cultures (how are we even defining that term?). A brief skim of Wikipedia suggests there are a lot of civilizations in Africa alone that might fit this profile, and that we likely don’t even have enough information to answer either way, but this is far from a familiar subject to me.

    • The Masai certainly keep cattle, though whether they feed the milk to their kids is not something I’m sure of. If the issue of lipids was the correct cause, you’d see major differences in IQ between coastal tribes and those in the interior (lipids from fish) or between the Masai and the Kikiyu (assuming that the Masai feed cow’s milk to their children.) Nobody who’s read anything about Kenya’s colonial period will remotely imagine that the Kikiyu are dumb, however. (Their agriculture saved everyone in the colony at one point.)

      It’s also worth considering that before the end of African colonization – a period which stretches roughly from the 1950s to the 1980s, Sub-Saharan IQs were a major political issue. (“We have to keep them pacified because… honestly, they aren’t very bright.”) So I don’t think you can traverse the issue very intelligently here without throwing out every result from before… “whenever,” depending on the exact country and when they attained their independence.

  58. Since ESR has not responded to the question of how a hard-core anarchist libertarian can countenance giving the state the power to tell people where they can live and work, I have to ask a followup question:

    Eric, do you still consider yourself 1) an anarchist libertarian, or at least 2) a libertarian?

    This is not a rhetorical question. I am seriously wondering whether you still support the same fundamental libertarian principles that you used to long ago.

    • >Eric, do you still consider yourself 1) an anarchist libertarian, or at least 2) a libertarian?

      I still consider myself an anarchist libertarian.

      There’s a difference between the way I think about politics in the frame of what’s achievable in present time versus what I would like my ideal society to be like. An ideal libertarian society would have no state-run armies because no state, but in present time I reluctantly accept that the U.S. has to have a military because I can’t hire one through my crime-insurance company.

      I’d like to live in a borderless world of all libertarians all the time too. But we ain’t there yet, and as long as the prospect that illegals might vote away what progress the U.S. has made towards liberty is real I have to endorse border controls that I would find repugnant in a more libertarian world.

      I’ve worked very hard, in subtle ways, to expand the sphere of liberty. To continue doing that, I need to protect my own liberty. The compromises I’ve have to make I’m not happy about, but I stand by the necessity of them. Idealism is good, but not when it turns into a suicide pact.

      The Gramscians may have corrupted a lot, but I’ve seen enough of the world to know that the U.S. remains the best hope we have. Which as why I’m an American civic nationalist as well as a an anarchist libertarian. I think it’s a position many of our Founders would have understood.

      • It goes farther than that, though. At some point we need to consider the possibility of violently eliminating the poisonous Gramscian leftist culture.These “people” are an ever-present threat to our liberty. And quite frankly, we need to strike soon, while we are the rugged men and they are the soft little worms they currently are.

  59. Yeah… this is kinda where I ended up. I want to be a bit more libertarian about immigration, but I don’t think that works if you have a welfare system. If, say, you set a system in place that excluded all immigrants from the ability to be on the public dole for, say, 2 years, then maybe we could talk. But you’d have to get an awful lot of actors to play ball in that: federal, state, and local governments, hospitals, etc. And that is a massive coordination problem.

    I do support streamlining our immigration system — it is really slow, expensive, cumbersome, and it doesn’t favor highly productive people enough.

    • >but I don’t think that works if you have a welfare system

      Democracy also complicates things. You are importing people who can vote. And who might support non-libertarian ideas.

      • I’m also not a big fan of democracy in general. It may in the short term prevent the worst abuses, but in the long term guarantees that all elected officials must be corrupt or they won’t have the resources to attain office.

        Other systems like hereditary constitutional monarchy with distributed power (not absolute monarchy or dicatorship — think Austro-Hungarian Empire not France) allow for the possibility of good leadership, but by no means guarantee it.

        Alas, much like a liberal republic in the middle east, I don’t think the peoples of North America are culturally compatible with such a system. It would utterly fail here.

        I hope that the US breaks up sooner than later. The glue that holds us together is weak at best, and weakening with every immigrant that doesn’t share said values.

        • “It may in the short term prevent the worst abuses, but in the long term guarantees that all elected officials must be corrupt or they won’t have the resources to attain office. ”

          Democracy is the worst form of government, except for all the others.

          Note that all dictatorships succumb to corruption. Power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely has shown time and again to hold true. The Austrian Hungarian double monarchy was corrupt to the bone. The same holds for current day Russia, China, and the Middle East&Africa.

          The least corrupt countries in the world are the democracies of the Western world, Singapore, Hong Kong and Japan. So, if you hate corruption, you should work hard to preserve democracy.

          • For a European, you show remarkable ignorance of history. Austria-Hungary was not an absolute monarchy, it was a parliamentary state (actually two: the Empire of Austria and the Kingdom of Hungary had separate parliaments). Nor is there any evidence of major corruption in the Dual Monarchy’s government.

            It is interesting that you describe “current day… China” as “corrupt to the bone”, and then cite as one of “the least corrupt countries” Hong Kong, which is part of China and completely under the control of the Chinese government, which effectively appoints the head of local government there. Singapore is also not widely known for robust democracy.

  60. I don’t think the elites are virtue-signalling when they are talking about racism. Rather, they are making a thinly disguised threat: “Do what we say or we will get black and Hispanic thugs to kill you and your family.”

    Cowards like Troutwaxer love this, because it makes them feel tough when they hide behind tough guys and talk shit.

    Word to Troutwaxer: I suggest you visit a biker bar sometime. I know you think all right-wingers are soft church dweebs like Ralph Reed, but honestly, if you said some of the things about gun owners that you do online, you would be lucky if you only went to the hospital.

    • > Rather, they are making a thinly disguised threat: “Do what we say or we will get black and Hispanic thugs to kill you and your family.”

      Have you seen the 60 Minutes interview of George Soros where he gives a sociopath answer to justify his involvement in helping send Jews to die. He said if he didn’t do it, someone else would have. For a sociopath everything is a pragmatic cost/benefit analysis.

      Ted Turner is another one who said we should limit family sizes so he can own huge plots of land for Buffalos to save our planet, yet he has 5 children. Who volunteers to infantcide their offspring first? Enforced contraception, then your society and economy dies.

      The process seems somewhat schizophrenic mixed with some concept of furthering the degrees-of-freedom of humanity via globalization. Btw, my theory about Bitcoin is that it’s the only way to move to an “independent” new reserve currency that wouldn’t be resisted by the nations. The nations are powerless to resist Bitcoin. But the kicker is that Bitcoin loses decentralized convergence incentives as the revenue for miners transitions from debasement to transaction fees. So Bitcoin is not “independent” in the end game. So that will give you some hint as to who likely created Bitcoin.

    • “Do what we say or we will get black and Hispanic thugs to kill you and your family.”

      Long flabbergasted stare. “Wow. Just… wow.”

      • >Long flabbergasted stare. “Wow. Just… wow.”

        I actually shared that reaction on first reading Ken’s comment. Thinking about it, though…while I still don’t believe that’s what the left exactly intends, it’s no longer difficult for me to see how that ascription could make sense to a Ken.

        The left has been playing identity politics for 60 years, fragmenting the U.S. population, inflaming racial animosity, trumpeting the day when white Americans will be an obsolete minority overwhelmed by a rising black/hispanic tide as their grand strategy.

        Troutwaxer, you’ve done some of that trumpeting here on this very blog. Are people like Ken to blame for taking you seriously, for extrapolating that grand strategy to its most logical and brutal conclusion?

        I hear a lot of honking from the left about evil ethnonationalists and white supremacists. I loathe those people too, but fuck you. You and your fellow lefties did everything short of scribing pentagrams to summon them up. You and your affirmative action and your quotas and and minority setasides and your mandatory diversity trainings and your Section 8 housing. If whites now begin voting as a hostile ethnic bloc it will be because goddamn you, you taught them to do it. You incentivized them.

        I wanted to live in Martin Luther King’s dream of a color-blind America. I thought I might get to before I die. The Right didn’t fuck that up – well-meaning idiots like you did, eagerly voting for every morsel of poisonous racialist crap sold under the guise of compensatory justice instead of standing strong for individual equality under the law. Now we’ve got an increasing number of people like Ken who are asserting a defensive, fearful white tribalism in reaction to the institutional discrimination and insults your establishment heaps on them every day, and you know what? I can’t fucking blame them.

        I can hate that it’s happening, I can hate that we seem to be sliding towards the condition of Yugoslavia, I can personally resist it as hard as possible, but…you asked for it, you got it.

        • Let’s start with Ken. Anyone who believes that the left has Black and Hispanic thugs on call to kill the families of those who disagree with them definitely has problems. Perhaps Ken’s politics lean heavily towards the wildly-paranoid side, but it seems more likely that he needs to have his medications adjusted. Regardless of cause, in functional terms, Ken is dangerously crazy. He’s crazy as a voter. He’s crazy as an individual. If he’s a member of some group, they’re crazy too, or at least dysfunctional. I’d hate to work in the same place as Ken or be one of his family members or go to the same Church. I can’t imagine him behaving appropriately around any minority or around women or even most men. Leave aside your politics and carefully read his rant. The dude’s batshit. Not call-him-names-online batshit, but really, seriously fucked up.

          And you, in relation to Ken? Congratulations, you just enabled every bit of his bullshit. Maybe Ken is merely a Breitbart-inhaling member of the alt-right. Maybe he’s the next school shooter… but what you did above is the equivalent of buying a habitual drunk a case of Jack Daniels. You are a craziness-enabler.

          Ken now has a Tribal Elder’s stamp of approval on the idea that any stupid/crazy/paranoid ideas he has can be attributed to the behavior of Liberals rather than his own bad brain chemistry and paranoid thinking. In your post above, you have, at the very least, carefully and deliberately contributed to the world’s stupidity. You may have encouraged a real whack job. And why? So you can score a couple of points in an online debate?

          Fuck the politics. I’m ashamed of you.

          • >Fuck the politics. I’m ashamed of you.

            “One should fearlessly write what one believes to be the truth or else shut the hell up.” I’d be ashamed of myself if I didn’t.

            Affirmative action is wrong. Section 8 is wrong. Race-norming in university admissions is wrong. All that racialist shit is wrong, not specifically because it injures white people but generally because it destroys equality before the law, it’s a step backwards towards ethnotribalism and betrays our long post-Enlightenment struggle for universal justice.

            Ken didn’t do that. People like you did. Ken thinks that he can no longer get impartial justice from the system, and he’s right to think so. If having that truth pointed out offends you, that’s your problem.

            Lefty race-think created the real-world conditions that have terrified and alienated people like Ken. I hope you love the results, because you’re going to have to live with them. And, dammit, so am I.

          • “Anyone who believes that the left has Black and Hispanic thugs on call to kill the families of those who disagree with them definitely has problems.”

            Or, possibly, lives in Chicago and understands how Chicago politics work. It’s the kind of place where school board members get found floating in the river with bullet holes in them.

            Though living in Chicago certainly could be characterized as a “problem”, I suspect that isn’t what you meant.

          • I can’t imagine him behaving appropriately around any minority or around women or even most men.

            Excuse me? It’s your allies on the left who only stop assaulting women long enough so they can rape a child or two.

            And as if the rampant, overwhelming racism from the left were a very little thing, they turned on what was one of their raison d’êtres and are trying to obliterate the First Amendment (there is still some free-time amongst all the raping).

      • Martin Luther King Jr. succeeded (in many ways) BECAUSE of the Black Panthers and Nation of Islam types.

        They were CLEARLY stating that they would (and did) blow stuff up and kill people to get to their goals.

        Dr. King provided a honest middle ground between the violence of the southern democrats and the violence of the Black Panthers.

        Oh, (to cross the threads) do you know who helped support black southerners during that time? The NRA. They were “running” guns to black families threatened by the militant wing of the Democrat Party (the KKK).

        If the left was so anti-violence and all about diverse groups getting along they’d *stridently* disavow groups like Antifa, the New Black Panther Party, La Raza, CAIR etc.

        Instead they embrace them *as is* and let them run riot from time to time.

  61. ” as long as the prospect that illegals might vote away what progress the U.S. has made towards liberty is real I have to endorse border controls ”

    OK, so first it was about “social trust” BS, then it was about altruism and class consciousness, now it’s about illegals voting Democrat somehow. You’re just making it harder for yourself to dress up your run-of-the-mill, poorly-thought-out bigotry in “cognitive elite” language by changing arguments so often.

    • Have you considered that our host may present more than one argument for a thing, whereas you’ve presented what is effectively a negative amount of arguments? (Baseline zero, then penalized for namecalling and armchair psychology.)

      • >Have you considered that our host may present more than one argument for a thing

        Time to haul out one of my favorite maxims: “All interesting behavior is overdetermined.” That is, has more than one sufficient cause.

        • “All interesting behavior is overdetermined.”

          Which is related to one of mine: That all tragedies have multiple causes. E.g. it’s not just that the Titanic hit the iceberg, but that it grazed it, that the rivets were brittle in the cold water, that their distress flares were seen as fireworks, etc.

          This is one reason why political discussions are so difficult. A school shooting happens and people will point to the gun used, to the mental health system, to the police response, etc.

          • A friend of a friend who spent a LOT of time in Afghanistan as a SF Operator and then did high risk security (as a “civilian”) in the same theater told me “It’s the second mistake that kills you, you get the first one free”.

  62. I think the thing to remember is that when the border that is easier to cross, a lot of immigrants end up moving back home, especially those who have trouble adopting the new culture, and especially when there are welfare and social program benefits to be had.

    One potential solution is to end birthright citizenship, and base it on markers of integration.

    • One potential solution is to end birthright citizenship, …

      Which would take a constitutional amendment, repealing or modifying the 14th Amendment. Which had been voted in to guarantee citizenship rights to the former slaves.

      The effort involved would be immense.

       

      … and base it on markers of integration

      Which would be subject to being distorted by the “ruling class”. Nah, I’ll take my chances with someone who has lived their whole life here.

      People who have snuck in? Not so much. Young children who were brought here illegally by their parents? I have some sympathy for their position, and I think there should be a pathway they can follow to earn citizenship.

      As always, the devil is in the details.

      • It wouldn’t take an amendment. The 14th says “… and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, …”. Those words are not meaningless or they wouldn’t be there.

        • This is an interesting legal theory, but there are plenty who argue against it – and not all of them leftists.

          I suspect that the end result will be that those words are not given their full effect, should hte Supreme Court ever rule in such a case. Far too many would be stripped of their citizenship otherwise.

          • The 14th amendment isn’t what grants citizenship by proximity to magic dirt, there is a statute that does that. If that statute were repealed entirely, the 14th would still grant citizenship to the children of citizens born here. Changing that statute wouldn’t retroactively strip citizenship from anyone. If Trump gets another supreme court appointment, I’m guessing that the court would go 5-4 in favor of a tighter citizenship statute (but one still compatible with the 14th).

            Anyhow, the myth that the 14th requires that we give citizenship to the children of foreign invaders is pretty new. Whenever you see someone saying that it is settled law, if they provide any citations at all, they are lying. There is a case that says that the children of legal immigrants become citizens, which is not even close to the same thing and actually comes down on precisely the opposite side of the “subject to the jurisdiction” test. And there is a footnote in a concurrence where one judge gives their personal opinion that the 14th demands jus soli.

            • If I skim Wikipedia, I come across a reference to proceedings of Congress in which a Senator Trumbull speaks specifically about the clause “subject to the jurisdiction of the United States”. In that case, it was mostly in the context of Navajo, Shoshone, Comanche, et al. living on land then claimed by the US.

              Is that relevant here? Trumbull’s contention was that some people owed allegiance to another power (namely, a tribe) and thus could not be considered full US citizens. That seems like it ought to be good enough for children of illegal immigrants.

              That’s not all. The WP article on the Citizenship Clause and the one on birthright citizenship also seem like worthy starting points.

              From what I saw in about half an hour of reading, I could go either way on what the original intent was. It seems clear that the original authors didn’t consider the case of “child of illegals”, and if they had done so in a manner customary in Western thinking, they would not have granted even jus soli (most of Europe doesn’t even do that today).

    • Switzerland does not grant automatic citizenship to someone who does not have a Swiss mother (or a Swiss father, but only if the parents are legally married)

      As a result the population has is about 1/4 foreign.

      The country also has a high standard of living (above the US by some metrics), low crime and a high level of social trust…

  63. Broken out from the Winter/ESR debate on IQ here

    The article linked by Winter pretty much confirms what ESR is saying, and what everyone on the planet except Winter seems to know about IQ in children.

    There are things that can be done to help a child reach their IQ potential sooner, but nothing that we’ve identified that can actually boost their eventual adult-IQ. Baby Mozart, stimulative toys, good nutrition, IQ-test prep courses, etc can all help your baby reach milestones faster and will help prevent them from ending up with an environmentally lowered IQ. But somewhere before age 30, that population becomes undistinguishable from their parent population – well, from that portion of the parent population that wasn’t malnourished or exposed to lead during development anyway.

    Just as you shouldn’t get excited about cancer cures in mice, you shouldn’t get your hopes up over things that boost IQ in children. It is very, very easy to bring a child’s development forward – to get them doing third-grade math in second-grade, so to speak. But as far as we can cell, it is impossible to boost the eventual IQ they will stabilize at as adults. As ESR put it, the early gains wash out around puberty.

    • Continuing the subject of IQ, there are several other specific points Winter made that I want to address:

      > Actually, IQ is a miserable tool to compare humans outside of school.

      The U.S. military has been using it as an assessment tool for decades, and has found it to be quite useful at assessing fitness for cognitively complex tasks.

      The Wonderlic Personnel test has been used by corporations to assess job applicant’s potential for decades.

      > What grades and achievement tests measure http://www.pnas.org/content/113/47/13354.short

      This paper really doesn’t help your case.

      It’s pretty well known that grades and achievement tests measure more than just IQ. The abstract of that paper notes IQ has more impact on standardized tests, and that personality (I would bet specifically trait conscientiousness) has more impact on grades. The main point of the article is simply that personality + IQ is more predictive of life outcomes than just IQ.

      I think where you are getting tripped up is when the paper asserts that personality is more predictive of life outcomes than IQ. The problem with this framing is that it treats personality as a single factor, when it is actually many factors (at least 5, according to the Big Five model). As I understand it, IQ has more predictive power across a broad range of life outcomes that any *single* personality trait.

      I will note that the paper presents much more modest r-squared values than I would expect, but it states that they are “adjusted” values and I don’t yet understand what they mean by that in this context.

      > IQ correlates very well to achievement in education. People get hired on educational achievement. Also, job performance correlates with school achievement if you are hired because of what you have learned. And quite a number of people are hired because of what they have learned (or not).

      Another interpretation is that, because the legal situation around IQ testing job candidates is dicey (at least here in the U.S., the Wonderlic test not-withstanding) companies have to use the best proxy they have available. Educational attainment is a good (albeit inordinately expensive) measure of both IQ and conscientiousness, the two traits that are most desirable to employers.

      This is supported by Brian Caplan’s new book which argues that people actually retain relatively little knowledge from their education.

      > Every sane study finds that IQ test results improve considerably with training, which makes IQ tests a very unreliable measurement tool.

      False? I don’t purport to be an expert on the literature, but I’ve heard psychologists who specialize in psychometrics assert that this is simply not the case. Furthermore, it is my understanding that what ever the limitations of IQ as a measurement are, no other trait has been so thoroughly or rigorously analyzed, and it still won’t go away.

      Here are a couple of informative videos by Jordan Peterson:
      Openness/Intelligence/Creativity: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D7Kn5p7TP_Y
      The Neuroscience of Intelligence: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PY4sShDt9to

    • “There are things that can be done to help a child reach their IQ potential sooner, but nothing that we’ve identified that can actually boost their eventual adult-IQ.”

      I answer this here. This has come up now at several places. Yes IQ is a tool to predict the performance of a person on cognitive tasks. That is what it was developed for.

      The point is, that the IQ measured at a certain occasion is not an immutable result of some fixed genetic program. The whole phrase help a child reach their IQ potential sooner admits that the IQ measured is not the final word on the IQ potential of a person. That the community here cannot understand the difference is telling.

      To bring this back to the original topic. IQ is used as a way to argue certain communities are genetically stupid, generally correlated to skin color. This is considered “scientific evidence” because of measured differences in population IQ means/standard deviations.

      If the IQ measured is not the correct number of the IQ potential (whatever that may mean), this whole argumentation falls apart. Because, in that case, we have first to ascertain that these “inherently stupid” communities did actually reach their IQ potential in the same manner as the “inherently smart” communities.

      The more I read here, the more I think you actually should read up on what IQ actually measures and what cognitive functions actually do in a human life.

      • I can’t but help notice that the implication is that leftists will then use what you argue we can’t know, to argue that socialism must help these people reach their potential. I’d rather the free market sort it out. Some of the Africans are heavily into electronic payment systems, mobile phones, and software. It will be ironic if Africa rises due to unplanned free market hitech entrepreneurialism, while the socialists in Europe decline to third world status.

        I suspect the Africans are adapted to their environment over many epochs, so IQ adaptation may take a long time unless it can be accelerated with Freeman Dyson’s accelerated cultural evolution. Perhaps the Africans will be the first to adopt hitech reproduction and self-select for higher IQ.

        • “It will be ironic if Africa rises due to unplanned free market hitech entrepreneurialism, while the socialists in Europe decline to third world status.”

          When it comes to payment systems, it is the USA that lag. East Asia and Europe have rather modern online payment systems rolled out.

      • It isn’t us who don’t understand IQ – it is you. Pretty much just you, as I said before.

        The problem with your stupid argument is that we know what reduces adult-IQ in populations of white people, orientals and ashkenazis, and we’ve eliminated those factors from basically everyone, and the result is still the result.

        For your theory of environmental IQ differences to be correct, you need to find some mechanism that will boost the adult-IQs of only the lower adult-IQ groups. No such mechanism has been found, despite spending billions of dollars searching for one. Not only that, but we’ve also spent billions looking for factors which can non-selectively boost adult-IQs too, and we haven’t found anything there either. Essentially we’ve raised the adult-IQ distribution for all population groups up to the adult-IQ distribution of the healthy subset of those same population groups – by expanding the healthy subset of those populations to cover nearly everyone.

        Come back after you’ve found a non-genetic mechanism that causes differences in the distributions of adult-IQ, and we can talk. Until then, start learning to accept that the differences are real and that they aren’t going away.

        • “The problem with your stupid argument is that we know what reduces adult-IQ in populations of white people, orientals and ashkenazis,”

          Not so. The pre- and peri-natal influences on brain developments are hardly known. Also, the influence of early development are still being disentangled.

          “and we’ve eliminated those factors from basically everyone, and the result is still the result.”

          Not so, as many people grow up in suboptimal circumstances.

          “For your theory of environmental IQ differences to be correct, you need to find some mechanism that will boost the adult-IQs of only the lower adult-IQ groups. ”

          Wrong. I claim that genetic are not the invariant determinant of IQ. Adults do not change much compared to children, in every respect. The fact that adults do not change much tells us nothing. The fact that adults cannot learn a new language with native proficiency is not a proof that proficiency in a particular language is genetically inherited by speakers of that language. The fact that children are taller than their parents tells us nothing about how genes are involved in length.

          • > Not so, as many people grow up in suboptimal circumstances.

            And it matters not even a tiny bit. See the twins studies. By adulthood IQ is nearly indistinguishable between the twin raised by yuppie supermom on Baby Mozart, bottled reverse osmosis water and organic kale vs. the twin parked in front of the TV eating McDonalds and drinking soda.

            The bar is pretty low by our modern standards and it is rare for a child in America to be undernourished or poisoned to the point that their adult-IQ is lower than expected. Above that level – no one can find an effect other than what I’ve described – development earlier – NOT HIGHER.

            You are, in effect, invoking invisible magical spirits to explain what gives every appearance of being objective physical reality, because you find that reality undesirable to your personal preferences. If you find some causal link that the rest of us have overlooked, please bring it to our attention. Such a discovery would be near the top of the list of the most important discoveries of human history, and we’d probably rename the Nobel prize in your honor.

            Just don’t expect us to believe in your demons until you’ve found some evidence that they exist.

            • ” See the twins studies. By adulthood IQ is nearly indistinguishable between the twin raised by yuppie supermom on Baby Mozart, bottled reverse osmosis water and organic kale vs. the twin parked in front of the TV eating McDonalds and drinking soda.”

              Twins share their pre-natal environment which has shown to have an inordinate effect on a host of health and growth characteristics of humans. Then, the variation in environment between adopted twins is much less than the variation in environment in the population as a whole. People who adopt children are more alike than they are with people who do not adopt children. Many studies have exaggerated the differences in environment between the adoptees and their biological kin, often because they had no idea what was relevant and what not. Moreover, adopted twins are rather rare, so much has to be build on old data. Cyril Burt has worked hard to poison that well in his time.

  64. I don’t have time to answer those who replied to me yet, sorry about that. Meanwhile, I think you should look into this extremely insidious attempt at sidestepping the 1st Amendment. It has the potential to tame the US Internet into ideological compliance by quite effectively throwing blogs and discussions threads such as this one down the memory hole:

    NearlyFreeSpeech.NET Blog >> Act now: The latest effort to censor you (FOSTA) is here!

  65. Now I think in these terms: regardless of how you feel about government, high trust is a valuable kind of property for a society to have, and an ethically correct thing for it to defend.

    In the spirit of Killing the Buddha….could this concern with social trust be a valid reason to rethink supporting some kinds of drug prohibition?

    I do not know–and when I last tried could not find–any sort of rigorous study on this. But my observation (from dealing with criminal cases) is that heavy users of cocaine and methamphetamines become extremely untrustworthy…ready to lie, apparently conscience-free, glad to neglect the most basic responsbilities, and not at all respectful of property. (Much more than I see with alcohol or marijuana…I’ve never met a heroin user, but I hear similar things from those who have.)

    It fits what I’ve heard talking to a couple of rehab counsellors and recovering addicts…not a huge sample size, but disturbing nonetheless. The costs of prohibition are high. The cost of the drugs to social trust may also be high, especially if they’re acting in synergy with too much immigration, political balkanization, anti-patriotic education, and the like.

    Thoughts?

    • >In the spirit of Killing the Buddha….could this concern with social trust be a valid reason to rethink supporting some kinds of drug prohibition?

      I don’t think it’s the same issue. All high-trust societies have to deal with defectors – there’s always the high-deviant minority of about 3%, and what you’re telling me is that these drugs turn their addicts into sociopaths. As long as the percentage of defectors doesn’t rise too much, a high-trust society need not degrade.

      The relevant question, I think, is how frequent susceptibility to addiction-induced sociopathy is. I don’t know the answer.

      • For perspective: illegal immigration is inherently hard to measure, but an estimate given by Pew Research places the number at about 8 million, or about 2.5%. Pew also claims that this number has held steady since 2009. (Multiple organizations count illegal immigration using something called the “residual method”, and it gets plenty of criticism for inaccuracy, but no one seems to know of a better way to do it.)

        If Pew is accurate, and if illegals were all we had to worry about wrt cultural assimilation, and 0% of them were assimilating, then they form about as many people as the high-deviant minority – maybe a bit less.

        I don’t know how many illegals fail or refuse to assimilate, but it’s reasonable to guess that it’s less than 100%. If the illegal immigration rate is net 0%, it’s tempting to believe that the unassimilated cohort is shrinking, but it might also be that replacement is keeping that cohort constant. At the same time, we probably also have a nonzero unassimilation rate among legal immigrants. The total legal immigration rate has been roughly a million per year for the last 15 years (according to DHS) – about 0.3%.

        So, X% of 2.5%, plus Y% of 0.3% per year, should give you the unassimilation rate for all US immigrants. We have no idea what X and Y are, but we can at least put an upper bound on the total that could rival that high-deviant minority, but cannot dwarf it.

        • Ann Coulter in Adios America pegs the real number at 30 million, and she has a discussion therein of how that number is arrived at.

          The govt has frequently lied about this. I have no doubt Coulter is right.

      • Is it sufficient to only base on metrics of tendency to sociopathy, or should we also consider the transitive costs on productivity and social trust due to (and speaking about first-hand experience here) the government for example preventing a husband from extricating himself from a drug-addict wife without severe ramifications to his finances and even worse if the said wife would decide to make up stories in front of judge when for example there are kids involved. The cost of widespread drug abuse is amplified by the State and it’s edicts which tie the shoelaces together of the non-druggies and the druggies.

        Also the presumed increase in crime or just flaunting the law by the druggies. And in general the decline in morale of the rest of the society. And always worried about your kids being influenced.

        • It would make sense to consider all that together. Just as, in the opposite direction, a major part of the argument for legalization has always been to consider “the effects of the antidrug laws” and not just “the effects of the drugs.” (Alcohol prohibition is often brought up in this context, as it rightly should be, and the violence and corruption that resulted are an important part of the argument.)

          The problem is that we don’t appear to have the numbers for the “metrics of tendency to sociopathy” for these drugs (or at least I haven’t seen them and neither has Eric)–let alone for the secondary effects you’re talking about.

    • If drugs are legal then there is less reason for people to hide their drug use, and we *all* know that you can’t trust junkies.

  66. My thoughts exactly. Elites are free to call people in “flyover states” racist, fascist and many other kinds of “-ist”. It still doesn’t change the fact those people know NAFTA and took away many well-paid union manufacturing jobs and TPP was threatening to take away the rest, and illegal immigrants are competing with locals for whatever menial jobs are left.

    I don’t like Trump, but I like the fact he put the TPP in the agenda (before him, the TPP was presented as an inevitability), and the fact Trump was a good slap in the face for the elites who view cheap third-world labour and cheap illegal immigrant labour as non-negotiables. I know the elites hope “the flyover peasants” didn’t vote or thay they could still control their minds via television, but it won’t happen. The best the elites can do right now is negotiate with Trump the best possible compromise between cheap third-world labour and well-paid local union jobs before “the peasants” start viewing Trump as too moderate and go ahead and elect someone who is not willing to negotiate in the following elections.

  67. Regarding the European conquests of the Americas and Africa.

    Both were complete. As of 1938, the only parts of Africa that were not explicitly subject to Europe were Liberia (ruled by mixed-blood settlers from America) and Egypt (which was de facto subordinated to Britain; note that a considerable part of WW II was fought in and around Egypt, but the Egyptian government had nothing to say about it).

    The chief reason the Americas were an earlier and in some ways easier conquest was disease. European diseases crashed the population of the Americas, leaving most of the New World thinly populated and open to white (and black) settlement.

    Africa, meanwhile, was a literal fever swamp, where diseases lethal to whites were endemic.

  68. Low-cost immigrant labor…and $15/hour minimum wage laws (desired). These things do not work well together. Both desired by the left.

    • >Low-cost immigrant labor…and $15/hour minimum wage laws (desired). These things do not work well together. Both desired by the left.

      Yes they do, if you bear in mind that the strategic goal is to increase the number of government dependents who are thereby almost sure Democratic votes. “Fight for 15” is best understood as a way to make it impossible for low-skill immigrants to get jobs, and to get the ones already working replaced by burger-flipping robots.

      • Re: “Fight for 15,” note that many union contracts include automatic raises or renegotiations tied to the minimum wage, so Big Labor’s backing is not simply altruism.

  69. The USA — itself a nation founded by illegal immigrants — may have to take this one on the chin. It’s kind of hard to say “assimilate or GTFO” with any moral authority when your whole existenccve as a nation depends on your people moving onto other people’s land, wiping out the natives or forcing them off, and telling the ones that remain that they are no longer entitled to their own culture and must adapt to your culture — that of the invaders.

    From that perspective, the Reconquista of Aztlán can only be seen as comeuppance.

    • >From that perspective, the Reconquista of Aztlán can only be seen as comeuppance.

      La Raza are themselves the descendants of invaders. There is basically no nation or culture on earth that isn’t with the possible exception of a handful of tribesmen in the New Guinea Highlands, and even that is doubtful.

      Which pretty much does in your argument. If the descendants of invaders have no moral right to claim borders and defend them, nobody ever does – it’s just warring tribes forever and ever, no peace, no stability.

      • “If the descendants of invaders have no moral right to claim borders and defend them, nobody ever does – it’s just warring tribes forever and ever, no peace, no stability.”

        That is what all nationalism and nativism always boils down to: Might is Right.

        There are many reason to require adaptation from immigrants, but there is no moral justification for demanding from others what you nor your ancestors were willing to do.

          • “This virtue signaling guilt doesn’t help with the murders and rapes.”

            Gullible is as gullible does.

            This is a myth that is spread by ignorant and devious people. This is a pattern seen all over the world and all over history. Claim that crime is caused by the “others” as a preparation to ethnic cleansing. We saw this in Myanmar, Yugoslavia, Rwanda, all the way back to the dark ages and before. Now it is the Trumpistas that want to cleanse the USA of “foreign blemishes”

            Immigration, Crime, and Victimization: Rhetoric and Reality
            https://www.annualreviews.org/doi/10.1146/annurev-lawsocsci-102811-173923

            Contrary to popular perceptions that immigration increases crime, the research literature demonstrates that immigration generally serves a protective function, reducing crime. This review takes as its starting point the contradiction between the rhetoric and the reality of immigration and crime in the United States. We begin by exploring the conditions under which immigration reduces crime and those under which it has less or no effect, with particular attention to traditional and new destination sites. We then demonstrate how the moral panic about immigration has contributed to unprecedented levels of new legislation and intensified enforcement practices. These new laws and policies, we suggest, are making immigrants and their communities less safe. We consider some of the ways in which immigrants have become more vulnerable and how that vulnerability is patterned and nuanced. We close by examining recent research in other parts of the world, finding some similarities but also differences in the relationships among immigration, crime, and victimization.

          • I just noticed the link was behind a paywall. Here is an article that is accessible:

            The immigrant paradox: immigrants are less antisocial than native-born Americans
            https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4078741/?ftag=MSF0951a18

            I think the conclusion is rather ironic:
            This study confirms and extends prior research on crime and antisocial behavior, but suggests that it is premature however to think of immigrants as a policy intervention for treating high crime areas.

            • Thanks for sharing. I think I flew off the handle because I was thinking like a European. Things are utterly fucked.

              Legal immigrants also have a few other curious traits. At least observed in Europe, they don’t necessarily mix with the culture, and three generations in they’ve become more insular, not less.

              To bring it back to the post’s topic though, trust is more easily maintained by dispersing immigrants, not encouraging colonies; that’s is what’s done with mass-migration in most places.

              I wonder if there’s some way to encourage it for a more controlled trickle of regular immigration.

  70. Solid essay, nice to see someone “gets it”.

    Re. the Libertarian aspect of immigration, it seems to me that a way to limit unhealthy immigration (low IQ, low trust, etc.) would simply be to deny gov’t benefits to anyone who wasn’t born here, maybe require some form of liability and medical insurance for immigrants (enough to plausibly pay off full costs of terrible outcomes), and keep benefits low (or none) to those born here as well.

    This would attract the most productive while creating a booming economy with high(er) trust as insurance costs would keep out the worst and pay off if things go south, and discourage the least capable from having kids as a defacto form of personal wealth creation and work avoidance.

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